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Shein filed for London listing in early June, sources say

By Kane Wu and Julie Zhu

HONG KONG (Reuters) -Shein confidentially filed papers with Britain's markets regulator in early June, two sources said, kicking off the process for a potential London listing by the online fast-fashion retailer later in the year.

The China-founded company, which was valued at $66 billion in a fundraising round last year, began to explore a listing on the London Stock Exchange early this year, Reuters reported in May, citing sources. Shein's original plan to list in New York came unstuck following opposition from U.S. lawmakers.

A spokesperson for Shein and a spokesperson for Britain's markets watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), declined to comment.

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Both the sources, who have knowledge of the deal, declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

It is not immediately clear when Shein, known for its $5 tops and $10 dresses, plans to launch the initial public offering (IPO).

Shein has updated China's securities regulator officially about its change of listing venue, said the sources. The company, however, has yet to receive a nod from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), one of them said.

The CSRC did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The FCA would typically take up to a couple of months to vet and decide on clearance.

With a green light from both the FCA and CSRC, Shein would be in a position to publicly file an intention to float on the London stock exchange.

That would kick-off a typically four-week process of book building and price guidance before admission to trading.

If Shein does decide to press the button on a UK listing it will likely have to deal with a new government.

Opinion polls say Keir Starmer's Labour Party is on course to easily win Britain's July 4 election and end the 14 year rule of the Conservatives.

Labour has met with Shein and indicated its support for its potential London listing, which would be a boost for a UK market that has seen several high profile companies choose other venues.

However, some senior lawmakers have questioned Shein's suitability and called for greater scrutiny of its labour practices, supply chain and use of an import tax exemption.

Shein has said it is investing in strengthening governance and compliance across its supply chain and that the duty-free treatment of low-value parcels is not critical to its success.

Shein's London filing marks a shift from its long-running U.S. IPO plan, which has run into obstacles at home and abroad, Reuters has reported.

The group confidentially filed for an IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in November and approached the CSRC to seek Beijing's nod in the same month, sources have said.

The CSRC earlier this year informed Shein that the regulator would not recommend a U.S. IPO due to the company's supply chain issues, Reuters has reported.

Last week, Italian luxury sneaker maker Golden Goose postponed its IPO on the Milan bourse because of market volatility arising from political uncertainty, illustrating the challenging environment for new listings in Europe.

(Reporting by Kane Wu and Julie Zhu; Additional reporting by James Davey and Huw Jones in London; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee, Jan Harvey and Mark Potter)