BEIJING – China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba announced Wednesday that it expected to raise up to 101.2 billion Hong Kong dollars (nearly $13 billion) in its listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange, the world’s biggest listing so far this year.
In a statement on its website, the group said it would offer 500 million shares at HK$176 each and that international underwriters would have over-allotment option to purchase up to another 75 million shares at the same price.
Each of Alibaba’s American Depositary Shares (ADS) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will be worth eight of its Hong Kong shares following a decision in July by the shareholders to split a share into eight.
This means that the offer price of HK$176 will translate to approximately $180 per ADS, 2.8 percent less than the New York-listed shares.
The company had said on Nov.15 that the shares would be traded in lots of 100 shares each and would be “fully fungible with the ADSs listed on the NYSE.”
Alibaba’s shares are expected to begin trading on Nov. 26 under the stock code “9988,” whose pronunciation in Chinese has a sound similar to the phrase “prosperity forever.”
While Alibaba’s IPO in Hong Kong will be the largest in the world so far this year, the figure is well below what some media speculated in May, about $20 billion.
Co-founder Joe Tsai had said in 2013 that Hong Kong was the “natural first choice” for Alibaba’s IPO although conditions led the company to finally opt for New York.
However, in the last few years, the Hong Kong stock exchange has carried out a series of reforms including one that allows companies that are already listed in New York or London to file an application to go public in Hong Kong confidentially.
The group, founded by billionaire Jack Ma 20 years ago, began trading its shares at the NYSE in 2014 at $68, a figure that had risen to $185.26 at the close of the last session.
This listing places the group as Asia’s biggest company and the seventh in the world with a market value of $483.66 billion.