Everything You Need to Know About Alibaba's Hong Kong IPO

The e-commerce giant has raised $12.9 billion in its secondary listing
Everything You Need to Know About Alibaba's Hong Kong IPO
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Deputy Associate Editor, Asia Pacific
3 min read

E-commerce giant Alibaba raised $12.9 billion in its secondary listing in Hong Kong, marking the city’s third largest fundraising deal on record after insurance group AIA, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

The initial public offering, which also ranks as the world’s biggest cross-border IPO, is widely expected to provide boost to a protest-worn Hong Kong and help ease some pressure stemming from an ongoing recession - its first in more than a decade.

Alibaba had shattered all records in 2014 when it listed on the New York Stock exchange, raising a whopping $25 billion to become the biggest IPO in the world.

No other company till date has managed to break that record, although that may not be the case for long as Saudi Arabia’s state oil behemoth, Aramco, gears up for its IPO.

Aramco is expected to raise $25.6 billion at the top of its price target range, which would value it at $1.7 trillion.

Still, Alibaba’s listing in Hong Kong holds importance to investors that have been looking for opportunities in the region, but have not had a whole lot to be positive about given the economic downturn in China, and the seemingly never-ending market tepidity because of the U.S.-China trade war, which has forced traders to take to the sidelines.

The listing is also expected to forge a path home for other U.S.-listed Chinese giants, such as JD.com, Baidu and CTrip, especially as the U.S. continues to enforce heightened oversight and vetting of foreign companies.


Price per share

Alibaba priced its shares at HK$176, or $22.5 per share, which is 2.9 per cent lower than its last close of $185.25 on the New York stock exchange.


Number of shares

Alibaba’s global offering comprised 500 million shares, with an over-allotment option of 75 million shares.

Each American Depository share (ADS) that Alibaba will list on the Hong Kong Exchange is worth 8 shares, and each ADS is priced at $179.92.


Long-lasting prosperity

Alibaba’s stock code on the Hong Kong stock exchange will be 9988 - numbers which represent eternal prosperity in Chinese culture.

At the lower end of its IPO range, the company will raise at least HK$88 billion, a symbolic total since the number ‘8’ signifies good fortune.

The company is expected to start trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange on November 26.


IPO Had Been Postponed

The company had originally filed for a Hong Kong listing in June, and had hoped to raise nearly $20 billion, a Financial Times report said. But rising political tensions in Hong Kong, the U.S.-China trade war, and the global stock market uncertainty which adversely impacted Uber and Lyft’s IPOs, led to the company postponing its Hong Kong listing.


Strong Singles Day Sales

Alibaba’s Hong Kong IPO comes on the back of strong Singles Day sales, which saw the company rake in a record $31 billion from sales. The small spike in sales helped allay some fears investors had about a slowdown in the Chinese economy.

Alibaba launched Singles Day in 2009, as a counter to Valentine's Day. Its first event saw participation from just 27 merchants, a BBC report said. Since then, the company has broken its own sales records multiple times, even surpassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

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