Prada listing hints at Asian strength

31 January 2011

HONG KONG: Prada could pursue a listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange rather than opting for a European equivalent, indicating the shift in perspective currently impacting the luxury industry.

The Financial Times reports that the Italian fashion house could go public on Asia's second-largest bourse as early as this May.

According to Bloomberg, Prada would be the first Italian firm to be listed in Hong Kong.

L'Occitane, a French skincare products manufacturer, was listed in Hong Kong last year and raised over €510m ($700m; £440m).

"The Prada board, which met today, has decided to launch the process of listing the company on the Hong Kong bourse," the company said in a statement.

Patrizio Bertelli, Prada's ceo, said annual sales could rise from €2bn to €3bn by 2014, due in part to demand from fast-growth economies.

China experienced GDP growth of over 10% in 2010, despite global economic headwinds. The world's most populous nation has a rapidly-growing middle class with a hunger for high-end goods.

Financial researcher firm Sanford Bernstein has forecast particularly strong consumer demand over the years to 2015 for shoes, leather goods and watches in the fashion sector.

Interest is expected to be highest of all in rapidly-growing Asian economies.

Commenting on Prada's plans, Armando Branchini, vice-president of consultancy Intercorporate, said: "Asian investors will consider the decision to list in Hong Kong as a kind of recognition of, and tribute to, the importance of the region."

Data sourced from Financial Times/Bloomberg/AFP; additional content by Warc staff