Thu, Nov 14, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Retail giant Alibaba gets green light for HK listing

AFP, HONG KONG

Chinese online retail titan Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) has been given the go-ahead to list shares in Hong Kong, reports said yesterday, in what could be the territory’s biggest initial public offering (IPO) in almost a decade.

Approval for the sale will also give the territory’s financial authorities a huge boost as Hong Kong is battered by months of pro-democracy protests that have tarnished its image for security and hammered the Hang Seng Index.

Asia’s biggest company yesterday started a weeklong roadshow to garner interest from institutional and retail investors, said Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba.

The share price will be agreed on Wednesday next week, with trading in the firm expected in the week of Nov. 25, the report said, citing unnamed sources.

However, Bloomberg News reported speculation on trading floors that the share sale could be affected by protests that are wracking the territory, with the Central business district among the areas targeted by demonstrations.

Alibaba, which is already listed on New York’s NASDAQ, had planned to list in the summer, but called it off owing to the long-running pro-democracy protests and the China-US trade dispute.

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

However, it is lower than the US$20 billion it had aimed to raise initially.

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