China’s Geely Automobile Holdings (Geely) – owner of Volvo Cars – has applied to list its shares on Shanghai’s STAR stock exchange which would make it the first automaker to be listed on this hi-tech exchange, according to local reports.

Geely, which is already listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, aims to raise around CNY20bn (US$2.9bn) from the new listing which it will use to finance mergers and acquisitions and replenish working capital according to the prospectus released earlier this week.

The company has hired China International Capital Corporation and Huatai United Securities as underwriters for the listing.

Geely reported a 23% decline in revenue to CNY36.82bn ($5.4bn) in the first half of 2020 and a 43% drop in net earnings to CNY2.32bn due to the impact of COVID-19

It sold 530,446 vehicles in the first half of the year, down 19% year on year, but is targeting a 3% decline over the full year to 1.32m vehicles thanks to a rebound in the second half of the year.

The company said it would speed up the introduction of new model in the coming years, with a particular focus on new energy vehicles.