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Tianqi Lithium aims to raise up to $2 billion in Hong Kong listing -sources

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FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the brine pools and processing areas of the SQM lithium mine on the Atacama salt flat, in the Atacama desert of northern Chile
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By Scott Murdoch and Julie Zhu

HONG KONG (Reuters) -China's Tianqi Lithium Corp will sell its shares for between HK$69 and HK$82 ($8.79-$10.45) each for a Hong Kong listing which could raise up to $2 billion, said two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Tianqi, one of the world's top producers of lithium chemicals for electric vehicle batteries, plans to sell about 164.12 million shares in what would be the city's largest share sale in 2022, said one of the sources.

If a 15% greenshoe, or over-allotment option, is exercised, the Shenzhen-listed company could raise between $1.66 and $1.97 billion, the sources said.

Tianqi plans to open the books from Thursday to July 6, and debut in Hong Kong on July 13, said the first source.

The sources could not be named as the information was not yet public.

Tianqi did not immediately respond to a request for comment

Tianqi's float will help revive Hong Kong's banking market with the city's deal volumes flattened by volatile global financial markets.

There has been just $2.2 billion worth of initial public offerings and secondary listings in Hong Kong so far this year, down from $30.27 billion at the same time in 2021, according to Refinitiv data.

Tianqi, which is based in Chengdu, announced on Tuesday it had signed a contract to sell lithium to LG Chem Ltd.

Lithium prices have soared in the past year, despite some volatility caused during Shanghai's lockdown, on sustained global demand for electric vehicles.

Prices have risen by nearly 120% in 2022 and are up 400% year on year, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

A listing now would be Tianqi's second attempt at a deal in Hong Kong, after it withdrew a planned float in 2018 due to weaker market conditions at the time.

($1 = 7.8473 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch and Julie Zhu in Hong Kong; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens)