Who's going to China now? On Monday, it was Husky Energy Inc. considering a listing in Hong Kong. Today, it's The Coca-Cola Co. exploring a listing in Shanghai, according to Reuters and Bloomberg.
The beverage maker has promised to invest $2-billion (U.S.) between 2009 and 2011 in China. Its Sprite is already China's top-selling soft drink (apparently preferred over cola because it is perceived as being healthier, in a nation where juice and tea are popular). Coca-Cola had tried to tighten its grip on the market in 2009 with a proposal to buy local juice maker Huiyuan Juice, but the Chinese government rejected the bid on anti-competitive grounds.
China is home to world's third-biggest stock market. Chinese citizens cannot freely buy shares of overseas-listed companies because of capital controls on the yuan, and foreign companies cannot list on local stock exchanges yet.
Coke is likely to share a space on the Shanghai Stock Exchange's new international board with the London Stock Exchange Group, HSBC Holdings Plc, Unilever Plc and Standard Chartered Plc.
The international board may be operational by October, according to Bloomberg, part of a broader strategy to turn Shanghai into an international financial hub.