Alibaba delays $15bn stock market listing amid Hong Kong protests, say reports

Chinese e-commerce company's IPO pushed back to October as clashes between pro-deomcracy campaigners and police continue 

Ben Chapman@b_c_chapman
Wednesday 21 August 2019 09:16
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Alibaba’s proposed IPO would be one of the largest share sales this year
Alibaba’s proposed IPO would be one of the largest share sales this year

Alibaba has postponed its long-awaited $15bn (£12.3bn) stock market listing in Hong Kong in the midst of pro-democracy protests in the Asian financial hub, according to reports.

Reuters cited a source with knowledge of the matter as saying that Alibaba could launch its initial public offering as soon as October if tensions between protestors and Chinese police had eased and the market outlook had improved.

A further source is said to have revealed that the e-commerce company’s board took the decision to delay the deal, which had been pencilled in for August, at a board meeting last week.

Pro-democracy protests which began in opposition to an extradition bill have been ongoing for 11-weeks and have shown little sign of coming to an end.

Hundreds of thousands of people marched on Sunday, overflowing from several major roads into side streets. The march appeared to be one of the largest since demonstrations began on 9 June.

Hundreds of people have been arrested and police have repeatedly fired tear gas in attempts to deter protestors

Alibaba’s proposed IPO would be one of the largest share sales this year and has been touted as a measure of Hong Kong’s strength compared to western financial centres, particularly New York.

The company is already listed on the New York Stock Exchange but filed for a second listing in Hong Kong in June.

Last week, Alibaba reported revenues soared 42 per cent to 115bn yuan (£13.5bn) in its latest quarter compared to a year earlier, despite slowing Chinese economic growth.

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