Wednesday, 20 November, 2019

Alibaba sets eyes on $15 bn Hong Kong listing

Alibaba holds the record for the world's biggest initial public offering for its US$25 billion 2014 float in New York Report: Alibaba sets eyes on US$15b Hong Kong listing
Russell Knight | 10 November, 2019, 16:24

Alibaba's share sale, which could be the largest globally this year, will be a triumph for a Hong Kong stock exchange that lost many of China's brightest technology stars to United States rivals.

Alibaba's bookbuilding and listing is due to take place in the week beginning November 25, said the sources, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

An Alibaba spokesman declined to comment to Reuters on the timing of the listing.

Alibaba - which had roughly US$57 billion of cash and equivalents as of September - rode a national e-commerce boom that stemmed from an increasingly affluent middle class.

If realized, the US$15 billion IPO would be the biggest since insurance giant AIA garnered US$20.5 billion in 2010. Alibaba previously mentioned that the Company is looking to expand into less developed regions as its retail sales continue to slow down.

Alibaba is thought to have submitted their application discretely in June with hopes of listing in August, however the unrest in Hong Kong forced the company to postpone the process.

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Asia's largest company by market value is now preparing for a listing hearing as mandated by companies that debut on the Hong Kong bourse early next week, the people said, requesting not to be named discussing a private matter.

Despite months of ongoing pro-democracy protests, Hong Kong's stock market has chugged along. The demonstrations are in their fifth month and are frequently violent. The death of a student on Friday who fell from a parking lot is expected to spark fresh protests and fuel anger at police.

Alibaba will have an opportunity to show prospective investors its most recent sales figures after Monday's Singles Day, mainland China's largest annual online shopping day.

Credit Suisse and China International Capital Corp. will be the lead underwriters on the deal.

Sources have said the investment banking syndicate will be put in place after Monday.

Alibaba's sales a year ago reached $30 billion on the day, which was more than three times as large as Cyber Monday, the equivalent shopping day in the U.S. The group also beat financial analysts' expectations of its revenue, with a 40% year-on-year increase to RMB119 billion (US$16.7 billion).

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