Alibaba Group set to price shares - GulfToday

Alibaba Group set to price shares

Alibaba Group set to price shares

A stall of Alibaba during an Internet conference in Wuzhen, China. File/Reuters

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group will raise up to $12.9 billion from its landmark Hong Kong listing and is set to price its shares at a 2.8% discount to their New York close, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The deal — the largest share sale in the city for nine years and a world record cross-border secondary share sale — will be seen as a boost to Hong Kong following more than five months of anti-government protests and its recent slide into its first receession in a decade.

Alibaba is due to officially price the deal later on Wednesday but three sources said investors had been told HK$176 was likely to be the end number.

“Unless there’s a dramatic change in market conditions, that will be the final price,” said one source. All three asked not to be named because the information was confidential.

At that price Alibaba would raise at least HK$88 billion ($11.3 billion) - a symbolic total because the number 8 is associated with prosperity and good fortune in Chinese culture.

It could eventually rise to $12.9 billion if a so-called ‘greenshoe’ over-allotment option were exercised.

An Alibaba spokesman declined to comment on the pricing guidance given to investors.

Alibaba shares closed in New York on Tuesday at $185.25, up 0.35%.

One of Alibaba’s New York-listed American Depositary Shares (ADS) is worth eight of its Hong Kong shares.

While the discount to Alibaba’s last close was set at 2.8%, analysts noted the price represented a 3.7% discount to the undisturbed Alibaba share price on Nov. 12 - the day before the deal was launched.


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