Alibaba New Filing Is Biggest In HK Stock Exchange Since 2010

Alibaba Founder Jack Ma
Founder and Chairman of Chinese internet giant Alibaba Jack Ma gives a speech at Paris' high profile startups and high tech leaders gathering, Viva Tech, in Paris, France May 16, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

China's leading e-commerce firm, Alibaba Group Holding, reportedly filed a listing on Hong Kong's stock exchange and analysts said if the reports are true, it could drive the Chinese city to dominate the world as the biggest IPO market.

According to Barron's, the reports on Thursday indicated that Alibaba is looking to raise around $20 billion for the HK listing but the firm has yet to confirm the news. Analysts are expecting to the listing to propel the city towards IPO market domination if things go as planned.

Alibaba's reported confidential filing was made after the city's stock exchange made the necessary move to ease up on Chinese firms listed in Britain or the United States. It is worth noting that Alibaba's previous filing with the bourse in 2014 was rejected.

At that time, the filing was rejected due to the company's voting rights structure that allows founder Jack Ma and other executive officers to have larger voting control.

Multiple outlets confirmed that the confidential filing is the biggest yet within the last nine years, further giving high hopes for the HK stock exchange to climb to the top of the world.

Market experts are also expecting that the company's valuation could climb since a Hong Kong listing means Alibaba and its subsidiaries are now closer to home turf. In many cases, companies filing at home improve their market value since home-grown investors can share their expertise.

A person close to the situation told Reuters that the $20 billion could be raised before the fourth quarter of 2019 lands. While this secondary filing is not as huge as the initial filing with the New York stock exchange that remains undisputed as the world's largest in the IPO market, this year's listing is still something worth the attention.

Credit Suisse Group AG and China International Capital Corp. Ltd. are reportedly spearheading the IPO deal but both investment banks declined to provide statements on the news.

Many investments and stock market experts are rooting for the deal to come through as it will help boost the HK stock exchange. The bourse previously expressed disappointment after Alibaba moved to make its first IPO filing in New York.

Alibaba is one of China's two most valued firms, the Wall Street Journal noted. With its Hong Kong filing, it is expected to further boost its estimated $417 market capitalization.

Tencent Holdings, the other most valuable company in China, is already listed in the city but with its rival firm's move, the rivalry could heighten, especially with the billions Alibaba is reportedly planning to raise for the IPO.

Alibaba has yet to confirm the reports.

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