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Futu Holdings' US$90M IPO builds up ammunition for future expansion, CFO says

Hong Kong-based online brokerage firm Futu Holdings Ltd. expects funds raised from its US$90 million listing of American depositary shares on the NASDAQ Global Market to support its expansion into the U.S. market as well as future acquisition plans, according to CFO Arthur Yu Chen.

"Becoming a public company will be a huge plus to improving confidence and brand awareness," Chen said. In addition to the U.S. market, the company is also eyeing other regions and markets in the long run, but there is no timetable or specifics for the expansion plan yet, according to Chen.

The company, which allows retail investors in mainland China to invest in Hong Kong- and U.S.-listed shares, is developing a new product tailor-made for U.S. users but has not decided on an official launch date yet.

Futu Holdings has secured a securities brokerage license in the U.S. and is applying for a clearing license. Its ADS closed their debut trading day on March 8 at US$15.32, approximately 28% above the offering price of US$12 apiece.

"Besides organic growth, if we find a suitable candidate, we may also consider acquisitions," Chen said, noting that going public has reserved sufficient capital to be deployed for future expansion.

Meanwhile, Chen expects the mainland China and Hong Kong markets to remain growth drivers for the company over the next few years. "It's still early to build up a concrete financial projection for the U.S. market … We will not be in a hurry to launch any new product," Chen said.

"For 2019, it is still a year of preparation in terms of product optimization, recruiting local talent and understanding more about the dynamics of the local U.S. retail markets," Chen said.

Tencent Holdings Ltd. is a strategic investor in Futu Holdings.