Alibaba mulls second listing in Hong Kong to raise US$20b

Alibaba is working with financial advisers on the planned offering. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Alibaba Group Holding is considering raising US$20 billion (S$27.5 billion) via a second listing in Hong Kong after a record-breaking 2014 New York market debut, according to people with knowledge of the matter, a mega-deal that will bring China's largest company closer to investors in its home country.

The e-commerce giant is working with financial advisers on the planned offering, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Alibaba is aiming to file a listing application in Hong Kong confidentially as early as the second half of 2019, the people said. A second listing is intended to diversify its funding channels and boost liquidity, one of the people said. The plans are preliminary and could change, the people added.

Alibaba raised US$25 billion selling shares on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 in the world's largest first-time share sale, after struggling to persuade Hong Kong regulators to approve its proposed governance structure. The city's exchange finally gave the green light for dual-share classes last year, granting food delivery giant Meituan Dianping and smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp the right to issue stock with different voting rights.

The move also comes as Chinese companies face an increasingly hostile US government which has put several Chinese tech companies on a blacklist. This year, Chinese games-streaming giant Douyu postponed its IPO launch following market jitters over the trade war.

Alibaba declined to comment. Its New York-traded shares have slid 22 per cent as of Friday in the past year. It has a market capitalization of US$400 billion as of Friday's close. Monday is a public holiday in the US.

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