Alibaba, the Chinese online retail giant, has enjoyed a surge in its share price after floating on the Hong Kong stock exchange, in one of the year’s most hotly anticipated Initial Public Offerings.
The firm, which is already listed in the US, raised around £8.8bn in its secondary listing, with chairman Daniel Zhang cheering on the firm’s return to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has been mired in anti-democracy protests over the last few months, which have hurt its reputation as one of the world’s premier financial.
Alibaba’s stock had risen 6.5 per cent this morning, giving it a market value of 188 Hong Kong dollars.
Zhang struck the gong at the ceremony at the city’s stock exchange and welcomed the firm’s return “home” to Hong Kong.
He was joined by the territory’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan and former Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa.
Alibaba had originally considered a Hong Kong IPO in 2013, but chose New York after failing to secure regulatory approval.
The company has grown from an online marketplace into an e-commercia behemoth, with interests in financial services and artificial intelligence.
Ahead of its Hong Kong debut, the company said the listing would allow Asian investors to “participate in Alibaba’s growth,” as it looksks to tap “substantial new capital pools” in the region.
Alibaba has been listed in New York since 2014
The move comes after Alibaba delayed plans to list in Hong Kong earlier this year, amid ongoing unrest and the US-China trade war.
Over the weekend, pro-democracy candidates in the territory romped to a landslide and symbolic majority in district council elections in the embattled city.