Tuesday 28 May 2019 10:22 am

Jack Ma’s Alibaba chases ‘$20bn Hong Kong float’

Alibaba is seeking to raise up to $20bn (£15.8bn) in a Hong Kong float, it is reported.

Read more: DEBATE: Does Jack Ma deserve criticism for backing the ‘996’ working week?

The listing would be its second after a 2014 $25bn initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange.

The online retail and cloud giant could file for the float as early as the second half of this year, three anonymous sources told Reuters.

Alibaba wants to raise more cash to continue investing in technology at pace amid slowing economic growth in China and the ongoing trade war with President Donald Trump’s US.

Sources told Reuters that the size of the float was not final, though one source with direct knowledge said it was likely to be between $10bn and $15bn.

If it did hit $20bn it would be the sixth largest follow-on share sale ever, according to Refinitiv data cited by Reuters.

The sum would still be outstripped by NTT’s $36.8bn 1987 sale and AIG’s 2012 $20.7bn raise, as well as Lloyds Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland’s $22.5bn and $24.4bn respective sales in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Read more: Softbank gears up for launch of second Vision Fund

“If Alibaba lists again in Hong Kong, they can have a more diversified shareholder base,” Zhang Yi, founder of Guangzhou-based consultancy iiMedia Research, told Forbes.

“This isn’t so much about the amount you end up raising but a plan for opening another capital-raising channel.”

Alibaba and Softbank, its largest investor with a 28.8 per cent stake, both declined to comment to Reuters.