Home Money Shein moves closer to £50bn London listing despite concerns over working conditions

Shein moves closer to £50bn London listing despite concerns over working conditions

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Shein moves closer to £50bn London listing despite concerns over working conditions

London listing: Shein, which was set up in Nanjing but is now based in Singapore, could file papers as early as this week in a big boost for the City.

Shein is set to launch its £50bn stock market listing in London in the coming days despite concerns over working conditions at the Chinese company.

The online fashion giant, which was established in Nanjing but is now based in Singapore, could file its papers as soon as this week, which would be a big boost for the city.

London has been competing with New York for the blockbuster IPO that would see Shein rocket straight into the blue-chip FTSE 100 index.

The Mail on Sunday revealed in April that London was the likely destination and the submission of a prospectus for regulatory approval would be the surest sign yet that the City has won.

A listing valuing Shein at £50bn would be one of the largest in the history of the London Stock Exchange.

The filing could take place as soon as this week, but the initial public offering (IPO) of its shares may not take place until late summer or early fall.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who is under pressure to shore up the city amid concerns about its position as a financial centre, has met Shein chairman Donald Tang in recent weeks.

And Labor politicians – including business spokesman Jonathan Reynolds – have also held talks with the American businessman, who was born in Shanghai but moved to the United States in 1982, when he was 18.

According to The Times, Labour, which could form the next government after the July election, is “very supportive” of Shein’s election in London.

But potential investors are nervous because the company has been criticized for exploiting workers in China as well as quickly producing products.

A report by the advocacy group Public Eye revealed last month that some workers endure 75-hour weeks.

The UK’s Sustainable Finance and Investment Association has said it does not want London to “become a place of last resort for companies with poor human rights records”.

Boss James Alexander told The Mail: ‘The Chancellor should be very clear with any company who thinks they can come here to circumvent human rights laws or sustainability laws. “This adds additional risk to our indices, makes us more volatile and does not help the UK grow in the long term.”

He wants ministers to send the message that “the UK will not be bullied into acquiring companies that no other stock market will accept”.

Shein has seen its popularity grow in recent years and profits hit £1.6bn last year after selling £35bn worth of clothing.

Young shoppers have been turned away from rivals such as Boohoo and Asos thanks to ultra-cheap prices, including less than £3 for a top or £4 for a dress.

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Shein has come under significant criticism for the huge volumes of cheap clothing it produces, the lack of transparency in its supply chain and its appropriation of other designers’ work. Given these concerns, investors might be cautious if ESG criteria are on their priority list.

“Confirmation of the listing may be election campaign fodder for the Conservatives, who are likely to say it shows the government’s efforts to attract businesses to launch operations in London are bearing fruit.”

London has been hit by big names – including biotech firm Abcam and plumbing group Ferguson – delisting and moving to the United States. And it lost out when British chip designer Arm picked up a £100bn float in New York.

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