Alibaba Sets Eyes On $15bn Hong Kong Listing

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A report by news agency Reuters, citing unnamed sources, Friday said that the sales process would likely begin in Hong Kong from November 25.

Alibaba's decision to list in Hong Kong will provide greater access to China's burgeoning investor community, who will not have to deal with transferring capital to the USA, and the cumbersome time difference.

Alibaba is looking to scoop up between US$10 billion and US$15 billion in the initial public offering, Bloomberg News cited unnamed sources as saying, and is looking to hold a hearing into the move - as mandated by the Hong Kong exchange rules - next week.

However, it is lower than the US$20 billion it had aimed to raise initially.

However the company is looking to expand its Chinese customer base beyond its core market in big cities to less developed areas to combat slowing retail sales growth.

More recently, office-space sharing startup WeWork was forced to drop IPO plans and seek a cash injection from Japan's SoftBank Group, a major shareholder, as its valuation collapsed to $8bn from $47bn as recently as January this year.

Hong Kong's stock exchange, which reported its worst slide in profit in nearly three years, could face pressure from local protesters pushing back on influence from mainland China.

China's e-commerce and entertainment giant Alibaba is understood to be back on track with a secondary listing of its shares in Hong Kong. The demonstrations are in their fifth month and are frequently violent.

The company on Monday will wrap up its most important sales event of the year - Singles' Day - offering further clues on the health of consumption.

Sources have said the investment banking syndicate will be put in place after Monday.

Alibaba's sales previous year reached $30bn on the day, which was more than three times as large as Cyber Monday, the equivalent shopping day in the US.

The deal is now being led by China International Capital Corp (CICC) and Credit Suisse. Major investment banks led by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are now jockeying for the most senior positions behind those two.

The company reported a sales increase to 119 billion yuan ($16.9 billion) during the third quarter, up 40% on a year earlier, despite the fact that China is experiencing an economic slowdown.

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