Alibaba scripts history with biggest IPO

After debut on NYSE, Chinese etailer gets $21b market cap
New York: Alibaba made its long-awaited Wall Street debut on Friday on the heels of a record stock offering that opens the door to global expansion for the Chinese online retail giant. Its founder Jack Ma was on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as trading opened, while a group of Alibaba customers rang the opening bell. A trading price was not available in the early minutes after the opening, which is not uncommon for stock market debuts.
By raising as much as $25 billion, Chinese online giant Alibaba is poised to break the record for the largest initial public offering (IPO) in history. Priced at $68 a share, Alibaba would raise $21.7 billion with the offering of 320 million shares. If underwriters exercise the option for 48 million additional shares, the amount would top $25 billion, breaking the 2010 record set by China’s AgBank.
Mr Ma said he was “very honoured, and so excited” by the market debut and that he sees enormous growth potential for Alibaba. “We have a dream,” he said. “We hope in the next 15 years the world will change. We want to be bigger than WalMart.”
“Alibaba has become the biggest e-commerce firm in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume,” the res-earch firm Trefis said, setting a target price of $80 per share. “Alibaba will continue to retain the mammoth share of online shoppers, even if it is not able to increase it much.”
Alibaba “starts trading on Friday and with it comes the opportunity to invest in China’s largest e-commerce platform, which we believe has the potential to dominate global online markets,” analysts said adding that “While the stock’s not cheap, we believe its growth and margin profiles, if sustai-ned, should support higher valuation.”
( Source : AFP )
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