- Title: CHINA: Alibaba fulfils US IPO dream with NYSE listing
- Date: 19th September 2014
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) BDA INVESTMENT ADVISORY STRATEGY CONSULTING CHAIRMAN, DUNCAN CLARKE, SAYING: "I think it's kind of a coming of age for Alibaba, and now it's a listed company it feels it's on a par with its principle competitor Tencent."
- Embargoed: 4th October 2014 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Business,Industry
- Reuters ID: LVA9RA6BDHTOUSC5XXHRL82CO07R
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: E-commerce giant Alibaba began trading on the stock exchange on Friday (September 19), in what could be the biggest US tech IPO of all time.
The company's shares priced at $68 on Thursday (September 18), making it one of the biggest initial public offerings in history, and is expected to raise some $22 billion.
For Alibaba the IPO represents not just a chance to raise capital, but is also a milestone for the company, which reported net income tripling to nearly $2 billion in its most recent quarter.
Analysts called it a 'coming of age' for the company that began its life in a one-bed apartment owned by co-founder Jack Ma.
"I think it's kind of a coming of age for Alibaba, and now it's a listed company it feels it's on a par with its principle competitor Tencent," said Duncan Clarke, chairman of Bda Investment Advisory Strategy Consulting.
Tencent, China's main other internet player comparable in size, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2004, raising $800 million. The areas the two firms operate in have increasingly overlapped as both firms move into new areas, such as online finance.
"Alibaba is engaged in a pretty intense competition for the future with Tencent as its primary competitor in terms of the new areas that it's going to expand into, maybe in the media, in social networks, etcetera. It also has e-commerce competitors like JD.com and a raft of other niche players. So it's good to have a validation from the stock market, it's good to have the cash," said Clarke.
Alibaba is responsible for 80 percent of online sales in the world's second-largest economy, and works with a number of businesses there including consumer online marketplace Taobao and payment service Alipay.
While the firm handles more transactions than Amazon.com and eBay combined, an Ipsos poll conducted for Thomson Reuters found that 88 percent of Americans had never heard of the company.
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