French banking giant BNP Paribas is planning to list its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange, a report said Monday, in a bid that is likely to boost its profile in Asia, especially China.
The lender has submitted an application to the southern Chinese city's bourse, with a listing planned as early as July, the Chinese-language Ming Pao Daily News reported, quoting an unnamed source.
A BNP Paribas spokeswoman in Hong Kong said she could not immediately comment on the report when contacted by AFP.
The banking group does not plan to raise new funds in a so-called listing by introduction, according to the newspaper.
Unlike an initial public offering, a listing by introduction simply adds another trading venue to boost the profile of a company's existing shares, and gives investors the ability to buy or sell the shares in their local currency.
In December, Brazilian mining giant Vale made its Hong Kong trading debut by listing its shares in the form of common share depositary receipts, but did not raise new money. The miner was already listed in Brazil, New York and Paris.
Companies are increasingly looking to Hong Kong as a gateway to the Chinese market, with Russian mining giant UC Rusal raising US$2.2 billion in Hong Kong last year.
Last May, cosmetics group L'Occitane became the first French company to list in Hong Kong, after an initial public offering raised $704 million to fund an aggressive expansion in China, Japan and emerging markets.