Massive news just dropped for Hong Kong’s capital markets. Alibaba, one of the world’s largest tech companies, is considering raising $20 billion through a second listing in Hong Kong, Bloomberg reported on Monday citing sources.
Unnamed people told Bloomberg that the money raised in Hong Kong is intended to help Alibaba “diversify funding channels and boost liquidity.” The Chinese ecommerce behemoth is aiming to file a listing application confidentially as early as the second half of 2019, according to the report. That would come five years after Alibaba famously scored a record $25 billion listing on the New York Stock Exchange following Hong Kong’s refusal to approve its filing due to rules around company structure.
But the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is becoming an increasingly popular destination for public offerings that put Chinese tech businesses closer to investors at home, as my colleague Jon Russell explained in 2017. The turning point came when the bourse finally introduced dual-class tech stock listings last year, a major appeal that helped HKEX attract such tech darlings as smartphone maker Xiaomiand food delivery service Meituan Dianping.
The news also arrived at a time when Chinese tech firms are coping with increasing hostility in the US amid a series of prolonged trade negotiations. Huawei and dozens of its affiliate companies were hit hard after the US placed them on its ‘entity list’, meaning American companies need to seek approval from the government before doing business with these Chinese firms. Just last week, China’s largest chipmaker announced that it would delist from the NYSE and focused on its existing Hong Kong listing, although the company claimed the plan had been brewing for some time and had nothing to do with the trade war.