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Alibaba will 'seriously consider' Hong Kong listing, says founder Ma

by January 9, 2018 General

By and Jennifer Hughes

SHANGHAI/(Reuters) – Group Holding Ltd will “seriously consider” in Hong Kong, founder said, potentially providing a powerful boost to the financial hub which is preparing to allow dual-class share listings.

Ma made the comments at an event in the city on Monday in response to remarks by about how she hoped would consider returning to to list, an said.

“Daring to speak like this marks a strong commitment so we will definitely seriously consider the market,” Ma said in response to Lam’s speech, according to a transcript provided by

When asked by reporters about his comments after he met in on Tuesday, Ma said was considering subsidiaries in Hong Kong, without elaborating. Macron is on the second leg of a three-day state visit in

The said there were no further details available on what any plan could involve.

held its record $25 billion public float in in 2014 after Hong Kong, its favoured venue, refused to accept its governance structure where a group of senior managers control the majority of board appointments.

is now set to allow dual-class shares under rule changes to be proposed by the city’s stock exchange as it raises the stakes in its battle against for blockbuster Chinese initial public offerings.

Such shares grant differentiated voting rights and underpin the alternative governance and shareholding structures favoured by many owners of new age industries such as technology.

Over $3 billion worth of shares were traded on Monday, based on calculations using NASDAQ data. The stock closed at $190.33, with 16.23 million shares traded.

That compares with the Exchanges and Clearing Ltd’s (HKEX) average daily securities turnover of HK$88.2 billion ($11.28 billion) in 2017.


Shares in HKEX, the city’s exchange operator, rose as much as 3.1 percent to HK$270 on Tuesday, their highest level since July 2015.

Analysts said that an in could help drive more funds from the mainland towards the city and could convince other big firms, in particular technology-related ones, to list in the financial hub.

“If the trading volume in is even better than that in the U.

S., it will send out a signal to other new economy new listings that is a much better place for a than the U. S,” said Steven Leung, at in

For Alibaba, it could provide greater access to investors closer to who are familiar with its business and allow it to benefit from the government’s growing support for financial services innovation, said James Lloyd, Asia-Pacific

The HKEX said in December that it had begun drafting specific rule changes for allowing dual-class shares that will be put up for a formal public consultation in the first three months of 2018.

Under the planned rule changes, “innovative” Chinese companies with a market capitalisation over HK$10 billion and a primary on the Stock Exchange, Nasdaq or the would be able to seek a secondary in The HKEX has not yet defined what “innovative” is.

“We are also creating a new route to secondary listings in to attract companies from emerging and innovative sectors. We are aware that many successful new economy companies already listed in the US and UK would benefit from these reforms,” wrote Charles Li, of HKEX, in a blog post last month when the proposed changes were put forward.

Just 3 per cent of listings in the past decade, by market value, have been so-called “new economy” companies, compared with 47 per cent for the Stock Exchange, according to a discussion paper published by the HKEX in June.

Some analysts said technical issues and underlying concerns about the dual-class structure still needed to be resolved and fine tuned.

“The main concern is about the protection to minority investors under the dual structure,” said Linus Yip, at First Securities.

(Reporting by in and in HONG KONG; Additional Reporting by in HONG KONG, Anshuman Daga in SINGAPORE and Michel Rose in BEIJING; Editing by and Keith Weir)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)