HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA.N) will raise up to $12.9 billion in its Hong Kong secondary listing and is set to price its shares at HK$176 each, a 2.8% discount to their New York share price, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.
A logo of Alibaba Group is seen at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song
At that price the potentially record-breaking deal for a cross-border secondary listing would raise at least HK$88 billion ($11.3 billion), a symbolic total because the number 8 is associated with prosperity and good fortune in Chinese culture.
It could rise to $12.9 billion if a so-called ‘greenshoe’ over-allotment option is exercised, according to three sources who asked not to be named because the information was confidential.
A separate source with direct knowledge of the matter said the final price would be set at HK$176 per share later on Wednesday.
“Unless there’s a dramatic change in market conditions, that will be the final price,” the source said.
Alibaba is pressing ahead with a Hong Kong listing despite an ongoing U.S.-China trade war and anti-government protests in the former British colony, which has been driven into recession by more than five months of unrest.
The company which listed in New York five years ago had previously indicated it could raise up to $13.4 billion if the greenshoe option was exercised. It did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The price for the retail component of the deal will be finalised in Hong Kong on Wednesday and sources said institutional investors were due to be told at the same time how much stock they would be allocated.
Alibaba shares closed in New York on Tuesday at $185.25, which was 0.35% higher for the session.
In the secondary listing, eight Hong Kong shares will be equal to one of Alibaba’s New York-listed American Depositary Shares (ADS), according to documents lodged with the U.S. regulators.
China International Capital Corporation (CICC) and Credit Suisse were the sponsors for the Hong Kong deal.
The shares will be fully interchangeable between the New York and the Hong Kong stock exchanges.
Alibaba’s deal is the largest share sale in Hong Kong since AIA’s initial public offering in 2010 which raised $17.9 billion, according to market analysis firm Dealogic.
Reporting by Scott Murdoch; Editing by Stephen Coates