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Alibaba shares pole vault 38% in spectacular IPO debut
Sep '14
Alibaba shares pole vaulted 38 percent in a spectacular IPO debut on the New York Exchange yesterday, as investors tried to grab a slice of the Chinese growth story.

“The Alibaba stock opened and swiftly rose to a high of $99.70 before settling down to $90.50 in the late afternoon”, the Times of India reported.

The debut share price puts the valuation of Alibaba at around $230 billion in league with the biggest US retailer – Walmart, which has a valuation of some $240 billion.

Alibaba market capitalisation is more than that of the poster boy of online shopping - Amazon.com, which has a market cap of roughly $150 billion and three times eBay’s of around $65 billion.

The Chinese ecommerce giant’s valuation is also significantly higher than current market caps of iconic American companies like Coca-Cola and Walt Disney.

The Hangzhou, China-based company’s shares began trading Friday onwards under the ‘BABA’ ticker.

Early investors like internet services provider Yahoo also profited from the Alibaba IPO as it sold around $8 billion worth of shares in the offering, leaving it with a 16.3% stake.

Another Japanese investor - Softbank has a 32% stake, which makes it the largest single shareholder in Alibaba, is not selling for now.

Alibaba sold some 320 million shares, equal to around 13 percent of its capital. Nearly two-thirds of these shares are being sold by existing shareholders. The balance is newly issued shares.

The IPO was priced at the top of Alibaba’s expected range of $66 to $68, which was raised from an initial $60 to $66 a share.

The share price gives the Chinese online company an initial market value of $167.6 billion. According to S&P Capital IQ, this makes Alibaba one of the 40 biggest global public companies.

Meanwhile, according to Dow Jones Business Wire, the Dow Jones Index also rose 13.75 points to a new all-time high of 17,279.74. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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