Alibaba reportedly reviving Hong Kong IPO plans, may list in November

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(Image credit: Alibaba Group)

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is planning an initial public offering in Hong Kong as early as this November looking to raise up to $15 billion, Reuters reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: There have been multiple rounds of speculation about Alibaba’s dual listing in Hong Kong. This time the fundraise amount is smaller than earlier reports, and the timeframe accelerated, following plans to list in August were suspended due to market uncertainties caused by months-long protests in the city.

  • Alibaba’s listing would boost the status of Hong Kong as a major capital markets hub. Hong Kong’s stock exchange has been hit hard by the unrest, with IPO proceeds plunging nearly 43% year on year as of mid-October.

Details: Alibaba plans to seek listing approval from the Hong Kong stock exchange shortly after the Chinese e-commerce giant’s massive online retail promotion on Nov. 11 called Singles Day. The listing may take place towards the end of November or in early December, the Reuters report said.

  • Media reports say the size of the targeted fundraise ranges from $10 billion to $15 billion, significantly lower than the previous market expectation of up to $20 billion.
  • The accelerated timeline is driven by market uncertainties from US-Chinese tensions and the global macroeconomic outlook, according to a Bloomberg report.
  • Alibaba spokeswoman declined to comment on the news when reached by TechNode on Thursday.

Context: Alibaba’s business-to-business entity went public on the main board of the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2007, but then delisted in 2012.

  • Hong Kong was speculated to be a prime destination for Alibaba when the company considers a relisting in 2013. However, the e-commerce giant finally choose New York Stock Exchange for a record $25 billion listing in 2014, favoring a dual-class share structure.
  • The Hong Kong stock exchange shifted to a dual-class share mechanism in April 2018, allowing tech firms to have share classes with different voting rights.
  • The company’s IPO in New York set records as the world’s biggest, raising $25 billion.