Chinese-commerce giant Alibaba witnessed an eight per cent increase in the value of its shares within hours of being inaugurated on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange today.
After listing with a price of HK$176 (US$22) per share, Alibaba’s shares peaked at HK$192.50 (US$24.06) in trading and selling at a low of HK$189.04 (US$23.63).
With its offering of 500 million shares through an initial public offering (IPO), the online retail operation raised HK$88 billion — or US$11.25 billion— in new capital; a far cry from the US$25 billion it raised in 2014 when it listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Speaking at the listing ceremony earlier today, Alibaba Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said: “On this important milestone, I want to thank our customers first and foremost. My gratitude goes to all the Alibaba consumers who have supported us over the past 20 years, standing by us through our trial and error, as well as innovation for the future.”
“I want to especially thank Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. As a result of the continuous innovation and changes to the Hong Kong capital market, we are able to realise what we regrettably missed out on five years ago. Today, we realised what we said then: ‘When conditions allow, we will come back to Hong Kong,’” Zhang added.
“On this important milestone, I want to thank our customers first and foremost. My gratitude goes to all the Alibaba consumers who have supported us over the past 20 years, standing by us through our trial and error, as well as innovation for the future.”
Alibaba has indicated that the proceeds from the IPO will be used “for the implementations of strategies drive user growth and engagement, empower businesses to facilitate digital transformation, and continue to innovate and invest for the long term”.
In addition to raising new capital, the Chinese company said it wanted to allow more of its users and stakeholders in the Alibaba digital economy across Asia to invest and participate in Alibaba’s growth.
Alibaba Group also aims to serve over one billion annual active consumers and achieve over RMB10 trillion in annual gross merchandise volume (GMV) through its China consumer business in the next five years.
In response to Zhang, Charles Li, executive director and chief executive of Hong Kong Stock Exchange, said: “I am very thankful that Alibaba, after five years of traveling afar, finally came home. I’m also grateful that they choose to come despite the difficulties, despite the challenges that we are going through here in Hong Kong.”