Alibaba unveils Hong Kong secondary listing plan, in vote of confidence
Alibaba Group Holding, the record holder of the largest global initial public offering, has unveiled a secondary listing plan in Hong Kong, in a vote of confidence for the local financial market as the worst political crisis in the city’s history threatens its status as a global financial centre.
The e-commerce giant aims to sell 500 million new shares, with 487.5 million set aside for international offering and the rest for Hong Kong public, according to a filing in New York. The plan includes an option to sell an extra 75 million shares subject to demand. Alibaba may raise between US$10 billion and US$15 billion from the sale, after the Hong Kong stock exchange approved its secondary listing, people familiar with the matter said. The plan will give a major boost for the city gripped by more than five months of anti-government protests and a simmering US-China trade war, pushing the local stock exchange on a home run for global IPO crown this year in competition with the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.
Alibaba has been working on a plan to list its shares in Hong Kong – what the company calls its “natural first choice” – since it abandoned the local market for New York in 2014, according to people familiar with the matter. Part of the motivation is to give its army of online shopping customers in mainland China and elsewhere in Asia the opportunity to own its shares.
Alibaba, which raised a record US$25 billion in 2014 in New York, will retain its US listing, the people said, because of its deep capital markets while the group taps into the growing pool of funds in Asia with its latest plan.