Business

Alibaba may raise as much as $27.5 billion in Hong Kong listing

HONG KONG Alibaba is considering raising as much as US$20 billion (S$27.5 billion) through a listing in Hong Kong, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, lining up a second blockbuster deal following its 2014 record US$25 billion float in New York.

The deal, the biggest follow-on share sale in seven years globally, would give Alibaba a war chest to keep investing in technology - a priority for China as growth flags and as the world's second largest economy is locked in a mounting trade spat with the US.

The e-commerce giant is working with financial advisers on the offering and is aiming to file an application confidentially in Hong Kong as early as the second half of this year, three people said on condition of anonymity as the plans are not made public yet.

While advisers and others close to the deal downplayed any trade war reasoning for the move, analysts said the context could not be ignored.

"For Chinese companies listed in the US, one has to prepare a contingency plan," said Mr Hao Hong, head of research at broker Bocom International.

Sources with knowledge of Alibaba's plans cautioned that many details were not yet clear, including the final planned size.

One person with direct knowledge said it was more likely to be between US$10 billion and US$15 billion. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE