Alibaba Listing Success As Shares Surge

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Blockbuster debut in Hong Kong for one of China’s most prominent tech companies

Alibaba has held its secondary IPO in Hong Kong on Monday, and the listing was a success as its share price rose more than 6 percent.

This meant that Alibaba raised around $11.3bn (£8.8bn) in its secondary listing. Alibaba’s 2014 New York initial public offering, which had raised $25 billion (£19bn), remains the world’s biggest flotation to date.

Earlier this month it was reported that Alibaba had to stop taking orders from prospective institutional investors earlier than planned, such was the strong demand for its secondary IPO.

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Successful listing

The successful flotation is seen as a boost for Hong Kong amidst ongoing anti-government protests in the Asian financial hub, with Alibaba chairman Daniel Zhang saying last week he believes the future of Hong Kong “remains bright”.

“During this time of ongoing change, we continue to believe that the future of Hong Kong remains bright,” he reportedly said.

Zhang, who took over from co-founder Jack Ma in September, said Hong Kong remains “one of the world’s most important financial centres”.

Alibaba had originally considered listing in Hong Kong in 2013, but failed to secure regulatory approval at the time.

It then reportedly delayed plans to list in Hong Kong earlier this year amidst ongoing political turmoil and US-China trade tensions.

Anti-government protests, which began in June, have pushed Hong Kong’s economy into recession and lowered business confidence in the city.

The protests began in response to plans to allow extradition of prisoners to the mainland, but have continued as protestors demand an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality and democratic reforms.

But the turmoil has not dampened investors’ enthusiasm, with strong demand prompting Alibaba’s shares closed up at 187.60 Hong Kong dollars ($23.97) on their first day of trading.

The shares had been priced at HK$176 each.

Over the years, Alibaba has grown from an online marketplace into an e-commerce giant with interests ranging from financial services to artificial intelligence.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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