Alibaba Hong Kong IPO postponed due to unrest

The planned US$15 billion Alibaba Hong Kong IPO has been postponed due to continuing political unrest in the city.

The firm’s stance towards the issue is being taken by observers as indicative of the general mood of both mainland businesses and the Beijing administration towards Hong Kong.

Alibaba made the decision at a board meeting last week noting financial and political instability in the area. A new schedule for the listing has yet to be established, pending an improvement in the situation.

“It would be very unwise to launch the deal now or anytime soon,” said an anonymous source familiar with the board’s thinking on the matter. “It would certainly annoy Beijing by offering Hong Kong such a big gift given what’s going on in the city.”

The Alibaba Hong Kong IPO would likely be the world’s largest listing this year when it proceeds. It follows the sale of an 11-per-cent stake in Alibaba by Yahoo offshoot Altaba earlier this year.


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