FT'S LEX COLUMN
THE LEX COLUMN: Alibaba’s Hong Kong homecoming
Secondary listing will give Tencent a run for its money
Days after pulling in an impressive $38bn from shoppers in a 24-hour retail orgy, Alibaba has won regulatory approval for its proposed secondary listing in Hong Kong. It is hard to see how useful that blessing is when even senior police refer to the Asian financial hub as “on the brink of total collapse” and scenes of mayhem are screened across the globe.
Scrub the cynicism. Alibaba is a near $490bn blue chip that has pretty consistently beaten revenues estimates. The Chinese e-commerce group is the first company to heed Beijing’s call for the “homecoming” of its US-listed tech champions to Greater China. Much rides on the flotation succeeding. If it flies, further homecomings would follow, bolstering the access of mainland investors to tech stocks. The proceeds may be dented by the protests on the streets — say closer to $10bn from an initial wish of up to $20bn — but investor demand for the stock will ensure the listing succeeds.