Picture: FRANCOIS LENOIR/REUTERS
Picture: FRANCOIS LENOIR/REUTERS

Hong Kong — The company that makes Stella Artois and Budweiser has scrapped its planned listing in Hong Kong, cancelling what would have been the world’s largest initial public offering in 2019.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s biggest brewer, had hoped to raise almost $10bn from listing its Asia Pacific subsidiary Budweiser Brewing Company APAC.

“The company is not proceeding with this transaction due to several factors, including the prevailing market conditions,” Belgium-based AB InBev said on Friday.

“The company will closely monitor market conditions, as it continuously evaluates its options to enhance shareholder value, optimise the business and drive long-term growth, subject to strict financial discipline.”

The move is a blow to Hong Kong, which has been battling to win listings by big international firms at a time of trade tensions between China and the US. It also comes after a month of mass protests in the city over a controversial extradition bill.

The Belgian-Brazilian group’s IPO would have been the biggest in the world since Uber’s listing earlier in 2019 raised $8.1bn. But that could be easily surpassed as Chinese online retail titan Alibaba considers a Hong Kong listing.

The tech firm is reportedly looking to raise an eye-watering $20bn, which would be the biggest in Hong Kong since insurance firm AIA raised $20.5bn.

Alibaba raised $25bn when it listed in New York five years ago, making it the world's biggest IPO.

AFP