Business

Alibaba raises up to $17.6 billion in landmark Hong Kong IPO

HONG KONG : Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group raised up to US$12.9 billion (S$17.6 billion) in a landmark listing in Hong Kong.

It is the largest share sale in the city in nine years and a world record for a cross-border secondary share sale.

The deal will be seen as a boost to Hong Kong, following more than five months of anti-government protests and its recent slide into its first recession in a decade.

Alibaba confirmed it had priced the shares at HK$176 (S$30.63) each, a discount of 2.9 per cent to its New York closing price. This means Alibaba will raise at least HK$88 billion - a symbolic total as the number 8 is associated with prosperity and good fortune in Chinese culture.

Alibaba has also chosen the stock code 9988 for its listing, which for Chinese speakers combines two of the luckiest numbers, together symbolising long-lasting prosperity.

The total raised from the deal could eventually reach US$12.9 billion if a so-called "greenshoe" over-allotment option were exercised.

Alibaba shares closed in New York on Tuesday at US$185.25. One of Alibaba's New York-listed American Depositary Shares is worth eight of its Hong Kong shares. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE