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Alibaba Shares Attract High Gray-Market Bids as Hong Kong First Trading Day Looms

By Bloomberg / Nov 22, 2019 12:19 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

(Bloomberg) — Alibaba Group Holding’s Hong Kong debut is already off to a decent start before the shares officially begin trading next week.

Some institutional investors saw bids for the shares as high as HK$182 ($23.26) on Friday in gray-market trading, according to two people familiar with the matter. That’s 3.4% above the issue price of HK$176. While there was selling interest at that price, there were no firm offers, one of the people said. The lowest bids were for HK$177.

It bodes well for the stock’s first day of trading on Nov. 26, showing demand to own a slice of the Chinese e-commerce company remains strong despite the uncertain outlook for Hong Kong’s equity market. Asia’s most valuable firm, which has traded in the U.S. since 2014, raised about $11 billion in a long-awaited Hong Kong stock sale, braving the worsening political unrest gripping the city.

Alibaba’s shares carry unequal voting rights, which was one of the reasons Hong Kong lost out to New York in 2014 for the company’s initial public offering. The first company to sell shares with a dual-class structure in Hong Kong was Xiaomi in 2018. Its debut was not so successful.

Related: Alibaba Closes Books Early for Hong Kong Listing Amid Strong Demand

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