labels: it news, stock markets - world
China`s e-commerce major Alibaba plans debut on Hong Kong SEnews
30 July 2007

Mumbai: Alibaba, China''s biggest e-commerce company, has filed an application for initial public offer (IPO) with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, becoming perhaps the largest high-tech company to debut on the Hong Kong stock market.

Alibaba groups Alibaba.Com, Taobao.Com, Alipay.Com, Yahoo! China and Alisoft.Com and if the listing succeeds and with the IPO, the company''s total equity value would exceed $10 billion, overtaking its rivals.

Based in Hangzhou, East China''s Zhejiang province, the company has evolved into the world''s leading business-to-business marketplace in a span of nine years. It has over three million members from around the world.

As employees hold a large proportion of the company''s shares, the listing is expected to create a number of millionaires, analysts say.

"Our final goal is not to float the company but to create a great enterprise," Alibaba''s chairman Jack Ma said at the company''s annual meeting over the weekend. She didn''t elaborate.

The IPO, slated for the third quarter of the current year, is expected to raise 800 million Hong Kong dollars and take the company''s total market value to more than $4 billion, Xinhua news agency reported.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley will be the lead underwriters of Alibaba.com''s IPO, said a source, but he declined to say when the listing would occur or how much money it would raise.

The company proposes to use the fund to expand its global business and optimise its online trading services.

Alibaba.com is the biggest source of revenue for Hangzhou-based Alibaba Group, in which Yahoo Inc. holds a 40 per cent stake. Alibaba.com uses the internet to help match manufacturers in China and elsewhere with potential buyers of their products.

Maggie Wu is expected to take up the newly created post of chief financial officer at Alibaba.com at the end of this month. The group said 39-year-old Wu was formerly a partner with KPMG and was involved in the audits and initial public offerings of companies such as China Telecom Corp. and China Merchants Bank Co.

Alibaba.com has chosen to list on Hong Kong in contrast to many Internet firms'' choice of the Nasdaq Stock Market, where the investor base is more familiar with technology companies and valuations are relatively higher.

But Alibaba is well known to the Hong Kong market and is still likely to attract strong demand without having to pay the higher costs of a US listing.


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China`s e-commerce major Alibaba plans debut on Hong Kong SE