The Hong Kong Stock Exchange
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The Hang Seng Index was in technically overbought territory as recently as April. Image Credit: AP

CALB Co., a Chinese battery supplier for electric vehicle makers, has received approval from the Hong Kong stock exchange for an initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Jiangsu-based company received the green light following a hearing Thursday with the Hong Kong bourse's listing committee, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. It plans to start gauging investor demand for the offering as soon as next week, the people said.

CALB is considering seeking as much as $2 billion including an over-allotment option, people familiar with the matter have said. It could be among the biggest in Hong Kong this year, in a group led by China Tourism Group Duty Free Corp.'s $2.1 billion listing, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Several expected large IPOs including private equity firm PAG and insurer FWD Group Holdings Ltd. are looking to 2023 rather than try to launch in the autumn, Bloomberg News has reported.

Deliberations are ongoing, and details such as the fundraising amount and timing could still change, the people said. An external representative for CALB declined to comment.

Electric vehicle-related companies are drawing investor interest even amid concerns about a global recession and stringent Covid-19 containment measures in China, where EVs claim a rapidly growing share of the automotive market.

Tianqi Lithium Corp., China's biggest lithium miner, saw its first-half net income skyrocket by almost 12,000% from a year earlier to a record 10.3 billion yuan ($1.5 billion). It raised $1.7 billion in a Hong Kong listing in July.

Established in 2007, CALB makes lithium batteries for electric vehicles and other products. It operates major production bases in China, including Changzhou, Xiamen and Wuhan, according to its website. The company ranked sixth by sales in global EV battery market in July, overtaking South Korea's Samsung SDI Co., according to data released by Seoul-based SNE Research this week.

Huatai International Ltd. is the sole sponsor of CALB's Hong Kong IPO.