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.
STEPPING UP: The firm has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week and to halt all but essential overseas business travel from next month Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has implemented a remote work policy for employees not on production lines in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. This is the first time in the Hsinchu-based company’s history that it has launched a large-scale remote work policy, joining global technology companies, such as Apple Inc and Google, that encourage employees to work from home. The chipmaker has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week, it said. As the number of virus infections continues to climb worldwide, TSMC has urged employees to halt unnecessary
A two-hour drive south of Amsterdam in Veldhoven, workers decked out head-to-toe in protective gear toil in vast assembly halls. Before entering the inner sanctuary of the facilities, they meticulously layer on masks, gloves and special socks. A single speck of dust or a hair can have devastating effects on production. The result of all this painstaking process is an environment that is 10,000 times more purified than outside. As COVID-19 grips the world, it might just be the safest place to work right now. The teams belong to ASML Holding NV, which holds a de facto monopoly on the industry of
DBS Bank Ltd yesterday hacked its GDP growth forecast for Taiwan this year to 0.9 percent, down from its estimate of 2.3 percent two months earlier, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing financial market volatility. The bank’s latest forecast was even lower than London-based IHS Markit Ltd’s estimate of 1 percent, while other research institutes’ projections range from 1.6 percent to 2.6 percent. Taiwan’s economic momentum is being negatively affected by the pandemic, DBS said. The rapid spread of the disease from Asia to Europe and the US has dampened the bank’s previous expectation of a “V-shaped” global rebound in the
DOWNSIDE RISKS: Firms have a ‘very low’ chance of boosting investment returns in the next two years, making it hard for them to improve their capitalization, an analyst said Taiwanese life insurers wanting to improve their capital structure face strong headwinds this year, given prolonged low interest rates and economic impacts derived from trade protectionism and the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan Ratings Corp (中華信評) said on Friday. The local life insurance sector also still has high asset risks and such risks are susceptible to market volatility, the local arm of Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings said. Since last year, major financial holding companies — including CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控), Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) and Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) — have announced plans to raise fresh capital to