Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will raise up to $12.9bn in its Hong Kong secondary listing, pricing its shares at a 2.8 percent discount to their last closing price in New York, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter have reportedly said.
The company has indicated to prospective institutional investors that its shares will be priced at 176 Hong Kong dollars ($22.48) each, the sources told Reuters and Bloomberg.
The deal – the world’s biggest cross-border secondary listing to date, according to research firm Dealogic – will raise 88 billion Hong Kong dollars ($11bn), according to the people, an auspicious figure because the number eight implies prosperity in Chinese culture.
This is before a so-called “greenshoe” over-allotment option is exercised, which could take the total to $12.9bn, according to the two people, who asked not to be named because the information had yet to be made public.
The greenshoe option is a provision that allows the underwriter of the public offering to sell more shares to investors than was initially planned by the issuer if demand is higher than expected.
Alibaba had previously indicated it could raise up to $13.4bn if the greenshoe option is exercised.
The company has, however, already stopped taking orders from institutional investors, Bloomberg cited sources as saying.
Meanwhile, the price for the retail component of the deal will be finalised in Hong Kong on Wednesday and sources told Bloomberg that institutional investors were due to be told at the same time how much stock they would be allocated.
Alibaba declined to comment to Bloomberg and did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Its secondary listing in Hong Kong is happening as the city nears its seventh month of anti-government protests, which has dented consumer and business sentiment and dragged its economy into a recession.
None of this appears to have dampened investor appetite for Alibaba’s shares, however, as the Chinese company is set to challenge mainland tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd for the title of Hong Kong’s largest listed corporation.
The group’s shares closed in New York on Tuesday at $185.25, which was 0.35 percent higher for the session.
In the secondary listing, eight Hong Kong shares will be equal to one of Alibaba’s New York-listed American Depositary Shares (ADS), according to documents lodged with United States regulators.
China International Capital Corporation (CICC) and Credit Suisse were the sponsors for the Hong Kong deal.
The shares will be fully interchangeable between the New York and the Hong Kong stock exchanges.