Alibaba-linked firms mixed after Hong Kong IPO report

Alibaba's logo is seen at its headquarters on the outskirts of Hangzhou April 23, 2014.  —Reuters pic
Alibaba's logo is seen at its headquarters on the outskirts of Hangzhou April 23, 2014. —Reuters pic

HONG KONG, June 14 — Shares in firms linked to Chinese online retail titan Alibaba were mixed today a day after rallying on a report it had filed for a Hong Kong listing that could be the city’s biggest initial public offering for almost a decade.

A share sale in the city by the firm would mark a success for Beijing, which is seeking to encourage its tech titans to list closer to home, having been stung by IPOs in New York by homegrown firms including Alibaba and search engine giant Baidu.

Alibaba made the filing this week without the need for financial disclosures, according to Bloomberg News, which added that it had chosen China International Capital Corp and Credit Suisse Group AG as its lead banks.

If it raises its potential US$20 billion (RM83.35), the offering would be the biggest in Hong Kong since insurance firm AIA raised US$20.5 billion.

Alibaba raised US$25 billion when in listed in New York five years ago, making it the world’s biggest IPO.

The report sent shares in companies linked to Alibaba surging yesterday, with Shanghai-listed New Huadu Super center and Sanjiang Shopping Club up 10 per cent, while China TransInfo Technology put on more than 3 per cent in Shenzhen.

China International Capital Corp climbed 1 per cent in Hong Kong.

However, while Sanjiang surged more than 4 per cent today, New Huadu eased 0.5 per cent and Transinfo slipped 1.2 per cent. CICC slipped 1 per cent.

China has sought to encourage its current and future big tech firms to list nearer to home, including via a planned technology board in Shanghai that would be China’s answer to the Nasdaq exchange.

The moves come with China and the United States locked in an escalating trade battle in which Washington has banned US companies from supplying technology to Chinese telecom and smartphone giant Huawei.

The Trump administration suspects Huawei has links to China’s military, which could allow Beijing to access sensitive data on global networks that use Huawei equipment.

Alibaba has capitalised on the Chinese consumer’s love of e-commerce to dominate the sector in China and become one of the world’s most valuable companies. — AFP

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