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How Alibaba plans to conquer Hong Kong’s stock exchange: IPO’s details announced

By Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez


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Business |ANALYSIS

New York – Self-defined as a ‘technology company’, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is planning to take the Hong Kong’s stock exchange by storm. Alibaba’s choice hasn’t left anyone indifferent given the current turmoil hitting the Asian economic centre.

Last week, the Chinese e-commerce giant confirmed its plans to list in Hong Kong in what it called a 13 billion dollars initial public offering of shares (IPO.) Company’s representatives have certainly given the city’s market a vote of confidence, taking another step forward in its plans to go global.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday, Alibaba acknowledged it had filed an application for a proposed secondary listing with the Hong Kong stock exchange. It added that the New York Stock Exchange will continue to be its “primary listing venue.”

As explained in the regulatory filing, Alibaba will offer 500 million shares at a maximum of 188 Hong Kong dollars each, the company said. As called out by local media, the number eight is considered auspicious in China. Additionally, the company will issue an additional 75 million of “greenshoe” options, according to a source close to the matter cited by the CNBC. The latter would give the underwriting banks the ability to sell more shares than the original amount set.

Over-allocation options could take the total value to more than 13 billion dollars, making it one of the biggest IPOs in Hong Kong for a decade, reports the CNBC.

Alibaba’s vote of confidence on Hong Kong

Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Chief Executive Officer, said the group wanted to “contribute, in our small way, and participate in the future of Hong Kong”. “During this time of ongoing change, we continue to believe that the future of Hong Kong remains bright,” he said, adding that “The listing in Hong Kong will allow more of the company’s users and stakeholders in the Alibaba digital economy across Asia to invest and participate in Alibaba’s growth.”

It’s worth recalling that the group’s stock are already traded in New York. In a corporate statement issued November, 15, Zhang said that when Alibaba went public in 2014 it “missed out on Hong Kong with regret”.

Alibaba had planned to list in the summer but called it off owing to the city’s long-running pro-democracy protests and the China-US trade war. Additionally, Hong Kong stock market has recently modified its rules to allow double listings. Hong Kong’s key Hang Seng Index rose 0.48 percent in morning trading following the announcement.

Alibaba’s future is global

“Globalisation is the future of Alibaba Group. We firmly believe the marriage of digital technology and commerce will bring about unprecedented change that will not be limited by borders,” the company’s CEO said when announcing their Hong Kong’s listing.

Alibaba also said it saw record amounts of cross-border sales, underlining its plans to expand globally.

Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares are up over 36 percent this year as it continues to show growth in its core commerce business, despite a slowing Chinese economy.

Photo: newsroom