Alibaba sets eyes on $15 bn Hong Kong listing

The US-listed Chinese e-commerce giant is due to seek approval from Hong Kong’s listing committee on Thursday two people with direct knowledge of the matter said. — AFP  File

The US-listed Chinese e-commerce giant is due to seek approval from Hong Kong’s listing committee on Thursday two people with direct knowledge of the matter said. — AFP File

In particular, the USA and China have been engaged in an ongoing trade war that has rattled US and Asia markets constantly. However, Alibaba declined to comment on the issue.

The transaction, Dealogic data showed, would be the world's biggest cross-border secondary listing. The company listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 raising $25 billion within the first day, making it the world's largest IPO in history. Having said that, it is decreased than the $20 billion it experienced aimed to raise in the beginning. Alibaba previously mentioned that the Company is looking to expand into less developed regions as its retail sales continue to slow down.

The Hong Kong listing presages a year-end rush for global equity markets, with the Saudi government planning to sell 2% of oil giant Aramco in a deal that could raise up to $30 billion and topple Alibaba's own IPO record.

Companies so far this year have sold shares worth US$429 billion via IPOs and follow-on sales - running far short of the US$604 billion they sold in the whole of last year, according to data from Refinitiv.

Alibaba is thought to have submitted their application discretely in June with hopes of listing in August, however the unrest in Hong Kong forced the company to postpone the process.

Hong Kong's stock exchange, which reported its worst slide in profit in nearly three years, could face pressure from local protesters pushing back on influence from mainland China.

The result beat analysts' expectations of revenue of 116.8 billion yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

But the Hong Kong listing would provide a second major market for investors to buy its shares, potentially including buyers on the Chinese mainland.

The listing could yet be delayed, however, if the protests worsen once more.

Demonstrations are expected to escalate over the weekend as the death of a student inflames rioters who are calling for "flash-mob"-style rallies".

Sources have said the investment banking syndicate will be put in place after Monday.

The deal is led by China International Capital Corp and Credit Suisse. Major investment banks led by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are now jockeying for the most senior positions behind those two.

The company on Monday will wrap up its most important sales event of the year - Singles' Day - offering further clues on the health of consumption.

Alibaba's sales previous year reached $30 billion on the day, which was more than three times as large as Cyber Monday, the equivalent shopping day in the U.S.

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