Mark McSherry: Wall Street needs Alibaba to works its magic on floats


Global Outlook Is it still “open sesame” for the monster initial public offering in New York of the Chinese internet retail giant Alibaba this summer?

It’s a good question. The IPO was originally pencilled in for 8 August – an auspicious date in the calendar and culture of China where 8 is considered a lucky number – but Alibaba rattled investors this week by revealing that the float will not now take place until after the US Labor Day holiday on 1 September.

While nobody on Wall Street anticipates any serious problems with the listing, it has emerged that Alibaba is still in discussions with the US Securities and Exchange Commission as it works to complete its flotation paperwork.

That could take a while.

And in the meantime, quite a few other technology companies, which had been hoping to go public immediately after Alibaba’s IPO, will also delay their floats.

Is the most eagerly awaited listing of the year about to turn into a damp squib?

We trust not.