The Chinese multinational conglomerate Alibaba has announced that they will continue with their planned debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, despite increasing political tension and scenes of violence between protesters and police.
The announcement, which has been months in the making, surprised top investors in both Hong Kong and Beijing, who had expected the company to pause in its plans like many other public companies who operate in this hub of financial movement, yet Alibaba had their offer for floatation confirmed just last week by top officials.
The e-commerce giant began their quest to sell over 500m shares in the company through Asia’s central stock exchange almost a year ago, yet the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong has not prevented them from raising the $13bn in equity they require, currently the largest in the world.
Pricing for Alibaba is expected to appear mid-week and has captured the attention of investors around the world. There have been violent clashes between protestors and police, particularly at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The company is hoping that a quick listing will reduce the risk of failure or disinterest from investors from the volatile area and that its floatation will have similar success as it did in 2014 when the company sold shares on the New York Stock Exchange to great acclaim.
However, it looks as though the continued unrest in Hong Kong has not detracted Asian investors from voicing their interest in purchasing shares – already there has been significant interest from central Chinese institutions and other Asian wealth funds for a share in this enormous company.
Analysts have suggested that the speed at which Alibaba will be joining the HKSE is perhaps a political move. It is in China’s interests to keep the hub of Asian financial trading alive and functioning, despite the political turmoil outside of its walls, to reassure investors that their investments are protected.
The Hang Seng Index has been struggling over the last week and the market is viewed as weaker than ever before – a perfect time for Alibaba to jump in.
This is not the first time Alibaba has attempted to get onto the HKSE – they filed to list in June with a hope in raising $20bn in equity but stalled as unrest gripped the nation.