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Alibaba stocks jump almost 7 percent in Hong Kong debut

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By EFE-EPA

E-commerce giant Alibaba’s listing shot up 6.9 percent within an hour and a half of its debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Tuesday, in what has been the world’s largest IPO so far this year.

At 11 am local time, the company’s shares had risen from its initial price of HK$176 ($22.5) to HK$188.10.

Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan, (2-L); Tung Chee-hwa (3-L), former Hong Kong Chief Executive and Alibaba Group independent non-executive director; Daniel Zhang (C), Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group; Laura Cha (3-R), Chairman of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing and Joseph Tsai (2-R), co-founder and executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, attend the company's stock trading debut at the headquarters of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing in Hong Kong, China, Nov. 28, 2019.  (EFE-EPA/JEROME FAVRE / MANILA BULLETIN)

Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan, (2-L); Tung Chee-hwa (3-L), former Hong Kong Chief Executive and Alibaba Group independent non-executive director; Daniel Zhang (C), Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group; Laura Cha (3-R), Chairman of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing and Joseph Tsai (2-R), co-founder and executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, attend the company’s stock trading debut at the headquarters of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing in Hong Kong, China, Nov. 28, 2019.
(EFE-EPA/JEROME FAVRE / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to data provided by the Hong Kong stock market operator HKEX, HK$8.26 billion had been traded in the company’s shares.

At the opening of the trading session at 9.30 am, Alibaba stocks jumped 6.3 percent to HK$187.

Chinese tech firm Tencent, so far the biggest heavyweight in the Hong Kong market, saw its share prices fall by 0.59 percent.

Analysts had already predicted a couple of weeks ago that investors would trade Tencent securities for those of the newcomer to diversify their investments.

However, despite the high demand for Alibaba shares, the benchmark Hang Seng of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange experienced slight losses of 0.11 percent one and a half hours after the start of trading.

Alibaba’s shares began trading under the stock code “9988,” whose pronunciation in Chinese has a sound similar to the phrase “prosperity forever.”

According to the group, the offer comprises 500 million securities, although international subscribers will be able to exercise an option of over-allocation of another 75 million shares, taking the total value of the operations to HK$101.2 billion.

In the last few years, the Hong Kong stock exchange has carried out a series of reforms including one that allows companies that are already listed in New York or London to file an application to go public in Hong Kong confidentially.

The group, founded by billionaire Jack Ma 20 years ago, began trading its shares at the NYSE in 2014 at $68, a figure that had risen to $185.26 at the close of the last session.

This listing places the group as Asia’s biggest company and the seventh in the world with a market value of $483.66 billion.

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