Alibaba sets eyes on $15bn Hong Kong listing

Daniel Fowler
November 11, 2019

Chinese online retail titan Alibaba is hoping to raise up to US$15 billion (RM61.9 billion) in a Hong Kong IPO, a report said today, which would be the city's biggest listing for nine years. The Company has its primary listings on the New York Stock Exchange.

In particular, the US and China have been engaged in an ongoing trade war that has rattled USA and Asia markets constantly.

The listing process and bookbuild would then proceed during the week of November 25, 2019, said the sources, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. However, Alibaba declined to comment on the issue.

If realised, the US$15 billion IPO would be the biggest since insurance giant AIA garnered US$20.5 billion in 2010.

Alibaba is looking to scoop up between US$10 billion and US$15 billion in the initial public offering, Bloomberg News cited unnamed sources as saying, and is looking to hold a hearing into the move - as mandated by the Hong Kong exchange rules - next week.

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Alibaba had initially been working on an August listing in Hong Kong but put the deal on hold as anti-government protests left the city mired in financial and political uncertainty. That would be the largest IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange in nearly ten years.

Now bankers and investors are watching closely to see whether other USA -listed Chinese companies such as Baidu BIDU.O and JD.O might follow Alibaba's lead.

If both the Alibaba deal and the pending Saudi Arabian Aramco oil company deal succeed, they could provide a shot in the arm for moribund capital markets, where investors have proved increasingly sceptical of the valuations sought by much-hyped tech startups such as ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies, which has fallen 34 percent since its float in May. Having said that, it is decreased than the $20 billion it experienced aimed to raise in the beginning. The group also beat financial analysts' expectations of its revenue, with a 40% year-on-year increase to RMB119 billion (US$16.7 billion).

Alibaba has appointed China International Capital Corp (CICC) and Credit Suisse to work on the deal and is likely to hire several more investment banks as early as next week to push ahead with a listing.

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