Chinese retail titan Alibaba plans to list in Hong Kong in the final week of November, two people with direct knowledge said, aiming to raise up to $15 billion in a deal that signals a vote of confidence in the Asian financial hub.
The public offering by the e-commerce specialist, whose primary listing is in the United States, would take place at a pivotal moment for Hong Kong’s future as the city has been wracked by months of anti-government protests.
It also comes at a time when there has been a thaw in relations between China and the United States, which have been locked in a trade war that has buffeted financial markets.
Alibaba’s book-building and listing is due to take place in the week beginning Nov. 25, said the sources, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.
The company is first due to seek approval from Hong Kong’s listing committee next week, on Thursday, two separate sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.
An Alibaba spokesman declined to comment on the timing of the share offering.
The transaction would be the world’s biggest-ever cross-border secondary listing, according to Dealogic data. Alibaba currently holds the crown for the world’s biggest initial public offering for its $25 billion 2014 float in New York.
Alibaba has not said what it plans to do with the proceeds of the secondary listing, in which it aims to raise between $10 billion and $15 billion.
However, the company is looking to expand its Chinese customer base beyond its core market in big cities to less developed areas to combat slowing retail sales growth.
It also faces rising competition from nimbler rivals such as Pinduoduo which have outsmarted the retail juggernaut in smaller cities with deep discounts and group-buying deals.
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