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Alibaba Expands Financial Empire With Huatai Securities Purchase

A pedestrian passes by a branch of Huatai Securities in East China’s Jiangsu province on May 27. Photo: IC
A pedestrian passes by a branch of Huatai Securities in East China’s Jiangsu province on May 27. Photo: IC

E-commerce giant Alibaba has paid more than $500 million for a stake in a leading state-owned Chinese securities firm, getting a hold in a lucrative industry after its previous efforts were stymied by regulators.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. paid 3.5 billion yuan ($512.3 million) for shares in Huatai Securities Co. Ltd. issued through a private placement that raised more than 14.2 billion yuan to bolster the brokerage’s balance sheet and working capital, according to filings with the Shanghai and Hong Kong bourses late Friday. The internet behemoth, which holds a 3.25% stake in Huatai’s enlarged share capital, is now the brokerage’s fifth-largest shareholder.

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