September 19, 2014
Alibaba, the Chinese online retail giant has finally announced USD 68 as the price of each of its share and the company is all set to make a remarkable entry in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today. Alibaba IPO that could be valued at USD 25 billion will break all the previous records of the NYSE, including the USD 22.1 billion record set by China’s Agriculture Bank in 2010.
According to reports, Jack Ma, President and founder of the Alibaba Group, was expected to ring the opening bell on Wall Street for the market debut. Analysts say that Ma’s company would have a market value of around USD 168 billion based on the announced share price, which fall in the top range of the US stock market, making Alibaba bigger than its US-based rival Amazon.
The Alibaba IPO allows the US investors to get a piece of the enormous Chinese market, however, it also will fuel global ambitions of the company which started its operations in Hangzhou. Alibaba’s consumer services are similar to a mix of those offered by US online giants eBay, PayPal and Amazon and it also operates services for wholesalers. It is known for the giant Chinese online marketplace Taobao, among other services.
Earlier in 2014, the company announced plans for a US marketplace called 11 Main, which is currently in a test phase. Alibaba Group made a profit of nearly USD 2 billion on revenue of USD 2.5 billion in the quarter ending June 30. Revenue rose 46% from the same period a year earlier.
Management of the Chinese giant decided to list the company in the NYSE because in order to create an alternative class share structure to give selected minority shareholders extra control over the its board. The Hong Kong bourse rejected Ma’s request to change its rules to allow the same. Reports said that Alibaba will trade under the symbol ‘BABA’ in the New York.
The IPO is also a major event for US-based Yahoo, which bought a 40% stake in the Chinese online giant in 2005 for USD 1 billion and still holds 22.4% of Alibaba. The California-based company is expected to walk away with some USD 10 billion paring that stake down to 16.3%.
Meanwhile, some market analysts, who were skeptical about the development, said that despite its dominance in China, the Alibaba Group will not be sweeping away the US market share in the near future. An expert said: “Rather, it will take a major acquisition or a number of years for Alibaba to pull together a platform that could compete with other market leaders like Amazon, Apple, eBay and Facebook.”
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