| Updated at: 1636 PST, Thursday, October 14, 2010|
HONG KONG: Italian family-owned fashion giant Prada could be poised to float its shares at an initial public offering in Hong Kong, hoping for a toe-hold in China's massive market, a report said Thursday.
The luxury chain, majority owned by the Prada family, is considering whether to list in Europe or Hong Kong, with questions of liquidity and volatility the key factors, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post said.
"If I have to make a decision right now, I will choose Hong Kong," Prada's deputy chairman Carlo Mazzi told the newspaper. "It's likely to become the world's biggest stock market in 10 to 15 years."
Prada plans to open 28 new stores in Hong Kong and mainland China and expects its Asian sales to exceed those in Europe in the next three years, the report said. A final decision will be made in the next two months.
About 40 percent of the company's investment so far this year has gone to China and Southeast Asia.
The Milan-based company hopes to raise up to 2.1 billion US dollars from the capital market to help expand its retail network and production lines and pay off its debts.
The group had planned to list several years ago but put the process on hold to wait for more favourable market conditions, a spokesman said on October 6.