Gilles Sabrie /BLOOMBERG
Alibaba Group Holding has added Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley to the sales force of its Hong Kong listing and invited several Chinese banks to do the same, reported Bloomberg.
The Chinese e-commerce giant plans to start taking investor orders on 15 November 2019, after it's Singles’ Day and price the offering on 20 November 2019. The offering is expected to raise as much as $15 billion.
At least four state-owned Chinese investment banks—ABC International Holdings, CCB International Holdings, ICBC International Holdings and Bank of China International—have been invited to take on junior roles.
Alibaba had aimed to list in Hong Kong as early as over the summer before protests rocked the financial hub, while trade tensions between Washington and Beijing clouded the market’s outlook. Listing closer to home has been a long-time dream of billionaire Jack Ma—a move that attracts favour from Beijing and hedges against trade war risks.
Alibaba could put the capital to work investing in new technologies such as artificial intelligence or fast-expanding affiliates such as Ant Financial. A successful Hong Kong share sale could also help finance a costly war of subsidies with Meituan Dianping in food delivery and travel as well as divert investor cash from rivals like Meituan and WeChat-operator Tencent Holdings.
Alibaba—which had roughly $57 billion of cash and equivalents as of September 2019—rode a national e-commerce boom that stemmed from an increasingly affluent middle class.