Alibaba shares jump 6.59% in Hong Kong debut
Updated 20:08, 26-Nov-2019

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding made its blockbuster debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday under the stock code 9988, despite ongoing protests in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

Alibaba shares closed at 187.60 Hong Kong dollars (23.97 U.S. dollars), gaining 6.59 percent over the 176 Hong Kong dollars offer price. Meanwhile, the company's turnover is close to 14 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, HKEX chairman Laura Cha Shih May-lung, HKSAR's first Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa and Alibaba CEO Zhang Yong attended the listing ceremony.

"On the occasion of (Alibaba's) 20th anniversary, we have ushered in an important milestone, which is to come home, come back to Hong Kong for listing," Zhang said at the ceremony as crowds clapped and cheered.

Alibaba's IPO comes as a major boost to Hong Kong, which has been wracked by months of often violent protests and the China-U.S. trade war, sending the economy into recession.

The listing is believed to be the biggest stock float this year so far and the largest share sale in Hong Kong since 2010, according to Bloomberg. CICC and Credit Suisse are the joint sponsors for the offering.


A leading light 

The listing is seen as a demonstration that will encourage China's current and future big tech firms to list nearer to home, especially those listed on Nasdaq, according to Jimmy Zhu, chief strategist at Fullerton Research.

"Amid the external uncertainty, such as China-U.S. trade friction, Alibaba's listing on HKSE is like a guide for other tech firms," said Zhu.

Asked whether the firm was planning to sell shares in the Chinese mainland, Zhang told reporters, "Hong Kong is a new starting point, but certainly not the end."

Observers said the introduction of Alibaba to the Hong Kong Exchange could prove a boon for the market.

"Alibaba will be the leading light for bringing more companies in," Andrew Sullivan, a director at Pearl Bridge Partners, told Bloomberg Television. "You may see some new money being allocated."

Before the debut on the stock exchange's main board, shares of Alibaba climbed 4.5 percent at a gray market venue in Hong Kong on Monday. The stock price closed at 184 Hong Kong dollars on a platform run by Phillip Securities Group, compared with an offer price of 176 HK dollars. It rose as high as 185 HK dollars during the session. About 1.7 million shares changed hands.

Alibaba's American depository shares rose 1.04 percent to 186.78 U.S. dollars in New York on Friday, the equivalent of 182.81 HK dollars at current exchange rates. Each ADS represents eight shares.

Alibaba raised 88 billion HK dollars (11.3 billion U.S. dollars) in gross proceeds after its 500-million-share offering was priced at 176 HK dollars each, compared with the maximum indicative price of 188 HK dollars. The company could raise more money from the issue if an overallotment option for 15 percent of the base offering is exercised.

(CGTN's Xu Xinchen and Nick Harper contributed to the story)

(Infographic by Li Wenyi)