Alibaba Plots Return To Hong Kong Market

Rocked by protests, Hong Kong may be looking at some good economic news.

Five years after scoring $25 billion in New York in the largest IPO in history, e-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holdings is reportedly considering raising as much as $20 billion through a second listing in Hong Kong. The news follows the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s decision to ease restrictions on secondary offerings and companies with dual-class shares.

The listing would provide Alibaba with additional capital for expansion into new sectors such as cloud computing and offline retail. It would also bring China’s largest company closer to mainland investors, making it less vulnerable to tensions in international markets.

For founder Jack Ma, a Hong Kong IPO would also offer a vindication of sorts. Alibaba listed there back in 2007. On its first day of trading, shares tripled, to HK$39.50, only to plummet 90% within a year. They never fully recovered, prompting Ma to delist the company from the HKSE in 2012. Today, with a far larger and more diversified company behind him, Ma no doubt anticipates a very different result.