Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) is set to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as early as next week, albeit at a cut-rate target of as little as $10 billion U.S., according to insiders who spoke to the Financial Times. The secondary listing, which was briefly put on hiatus as a result of the protests in Hong Kong, comes five years after the company’s record $25 billion U.S. initial public offering in New York.
The company chose New York over Hong Kong in 2014 because the latter’s rules wouldn’t allow the company’s dual-class share structure. Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing — the company that runs the Hong Kong Stock Exchange — has since changed those rules, paving the way for the secondary listing.
Alibaba owns Xianyu and Taobao, which are market leaders in China for consumer-to-consumer general goods. Xianyu claims more than four million daily users. According to a company representative, more than 1.4 billion items have been listed since it was founded in 2014 (it was spun off as a separate business entity in November 2015), one for every member of the Chinese population.
Alibaba posted revenues of over $16 billion U.S. in the most recent quarter, up 40% year-on-year. It was the company’s second successive quarter in which revenue growth was above 40%.
In Sept., Alibaba exchanged 37.5% of pre-tax profit from its fintech affiliate, Ant Financial, for a 33% equity stake in the company. The company’s largest shareholder SoftBank booked a pretax profit of more than $11 billion U.S. for selling part of its stake in Alibaba in June, completing a deal announced three years ago. SoftBank still holds a 26% stake in Alibaba.