Alibaba Hails ‘Bright’ Future Ahead Of Hong Kong Listing

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Chinese giant’s £10 billion secondary listing seen as a boost for Hong Kong as Asian financial hub continues to be wracked by anti-government protests

Alibaba is reportedly set to stop taking orders from prospective institutional investors earlier than planned ahead of strong demand for its secondary IPO in Hong Kong, set for next week.

The firm is to offer some 500 million shares and hopes to raise up to $13.4bn, which would eclipse Uber’s $8.1bn flotation in May as the year’s biggest listing.

The 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 said.

Record listing

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’s 2014 New York IPO, which raised $25 billion (£19bn), remains the world’s biggest flotation to date.

The secondary listing is aimed at giving investors across Asia the opportunity to “participate in Alibaba’s growth”, said the Hangzhou-based company.

Alibaba 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.

Disruption

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 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 to close order books in New York on Tuesday at 12 p.m. (1700 GMT), half a day earlier than expected, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources.

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