Following a growing wave of anti-China protests in Hong Kong, Alibaba is weighing a delay in the listing in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange which has not only shut down its airport but has also captivated the world.
According to two sources familiar with the matter at hand, following a growing unrest in Hong Kong, one of Asia’s biggest financial hub, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has delayed its $15 billion listing in the Chinese controlled territory.
Its listing plans are being closely watched by the financial community for indications on the business environment in Hong Kong as well as Beijing’s reading of the situation.
Although Alibaba has not formally set a new timetable, it could potentially launch its Hong Kong IPO as early as October.
Alibaba plans on raising $10-$15 billion through the IPO, said a source.
Initially set for late August, the decision to postpone the listing was taken at a board meeting before it released its latest earnings report, said a source.
“It would be very unwise to launch the deal now or anytime soon,” said a source while adding, “It would certainly annoy Beijing by offering Hong Kong such a big gift given what’s going on in the city”.
Sources preferred the cover of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Alibaba declined to comment on its Hong Kong deal plans.
The deal, potentially the world’s biggest equity listing in this year, will add to Alibaba’s war chest so that it can keep investing in technology.
Alibaba views the deal as a way to “diversify its access to capital markets”, but does not see it as strategic and core to its business, said a source.
Alibaba “does not see the postponement as a blow,” said the source.