Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is considering a second listing of up to $20 billion at the Hong Kong stock exchange this year, following the city’s decision to loosen its rules in 2017 on listing policies to give a greener light for technology firms to go public.
Hangzhou-based Alibaba is working with financial advisers on the applications for the planned $20 billion listing in Hong Kong, which could be filed as early as the second half of 2019, according to Bloomberg and Reuters reports, which cited people familiar with the matter.
Neither Alibaba and the Hong Kong stock exchange have provided comment on these reports.
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The $20 billion proposed initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong would be one of the largest listings in history, much like Alibaba’s record-breaking market debut in New York five years ago when the Chinese company raised $25 billion.
Alibaba in 2014 had abandoned Hong Kong as its favoured venue for listing and shifted eyes to New York when the city rejected its dual-class structure proposal. Dual-class structure proposals are commonly seen among technology companies, which can provide certain shareholders, especially top executives, greater voting rights to control board appointments.
After the Hong Kong stock exchange revamped its IPO rules in late 2017 however, tech companies like Xiaomi began launching IPOs in Hong Kong. Xiaomi was the first company to launch an IPO on the Hong Kong exchange with dual-class shares in July 2018. The Chinese smartphone brand saw its shares close at HK$16.80 on debut, giving it a market capitalisation of about $50 billion, which was only half of the $100 million valuation that it hoped for when the listing was announced.
Ant Financial, the financial affiliate of Alibaba, has also been frequently reported as a company eyeing being listed in Hong Kong and mainland China.
The company’s annual revenue is projected to surpass 500 billion yuan in the financial year ended March in 2020, according to Alibaba, as its core commerce and other businesses including cloud and new retail continue to expand. The Chinese tech giant reported a 39% increased in revenue to 376.8 billion yuan for the 12 month period ended March this year.
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