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Exchanges compete to attract listing from Alibaba

Friday, March 08, 2013

US-based Nasdaq and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing are fighting to convince Alibaba - China's biggest e-commerce firm - to be their primary listing destination.

Nasdaq representatives met high-level executives of the Hangzhou-based company in Hong Kong this week to discuss a possible initial public offering, media reports said.

The e-commerce giant was earlier expected to float in Hong Kong in the third quarter and raise between HK$39 billion and HK$46.8 billion.

"Nasdaq hopes to attract Alibaba as it has a higher valuation of high-tech stocks," an analyst said.

Alibaba rival 360buy is eyeing an IPO in New York.

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The recent reorganization of Alibaba and the impending retirement of group founder and chief executive Ma Yu have been interpreted as signals for an impending public float.

Buying back its shares from Yahoo is also seen as another incentive to go public.

Separately, China Everbright Bank - which suspended its HK$46.8 billion IPO in 2011 - has revived plans for a public offering and now hopes to list in Hong Kong between April and June. But the lender has slashed its fund-raising target by one third to HK$15.5 billion.

China Everbright urgently needs to replenish its capital. As of the end of September 30, its core capital adequacy ratio was 8.24 percent - much lower than the average core CAR of mainland banks, now at 10.58 percent. GRACE CAO


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