Alibaba calls Hong Kong’s future “bright” as retail campaign for $13 billion listing starts


Alibaba kicked off its retail campaign for its secondary listing in Hong Kong for $13 Billion. Chairman Daniel Zhang said that Hong Kong’s “future is bright” despite recession and escalating protests in the city.

The e-commerce giant said that the listing would be fully paperless and electronic as a representation of its environmental standards. Investment bankers however said that the move avoided possible publicity nightmare of investors queuing to place stock orders in banks as protests intensified.

Since June, four thousand people have been arrested in the demonstrations. The city’s economy sank to a recession for the first time in ten years. The anti-government protests have disrupted businesses and tourists within the city.

“Over the last few years, there have been many encouraging reforms in Hong Kong’s capital market. during this time of ongoing change, we continue to believe that the future of Hong Kong remains bright,” Zhang wrote in a letter included in the company’s supplementary prospectus.

Alibaba, based in Hangzhou, China, is aiming to raise $13.4 billion in its Hong Kong listing, which shares due to start trading on Nov. 26. The shares’ retail price will be at $188 each.

The share sale is Hong Kong’s biggest in almost ten years, and coming in during the time when anti-China sentiment is growing in the city and Beijing is seeking support from Hong Kong’s tycoons and entrepreneurs. Amid the five-month long turmoil, investors attempt to maintain a business-as-usual face.

Alibaba had already considered Hong Kong for its IPO in 2013, but failed for approval from Hong Kong regulators due to its unusual governance structure. This eventually led the ecommerce giant to set its IPO in New York instead.

The shares’ institutional price will be settled on Nov. 20 with a book build that is underway for global investors.

In the retail component, IPO will offer 12.5 million shares, or 2.5% of the deal. However, there is a possibility that the numbers will increase up to 50 million, or 10% of the total deal.

Aside from that, Alibaba has the option to utilize their “over-allotment” option. This adds an extra 75 Million to the deal.

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