Alibaba shares jump in blockbuster Hong Kong debut

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Alibaba chairman Daniel Zhang

Shares in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba have surged in its Hong Kong trading debut after wrapping up the year’s biggest share sale.

The firm, which is already traded in the US, raised at least $11.3bn (£8.8bn) in its secondary listing.

Alibaba was met with strong appetite for its shares, priced at HK$176 each.

The move is seen as a boost for Hong Kong amid fears long-running protests have tarnished its reputation as a financial hub.

In opening moves on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index on Tuesday, Alibaba’s stock jumped more than 6%.

The share sale has knocked Uber off the top spot as this year’s biggest initial public offering (IPO), according to Dealogic data. The ride-sharing firm raised $8.1bn in its New York float in May.

Over the years, Alibaba has grown from an online marketplace into an e-commerce giant with interests ranging from financial services to artificial intelligence.

Ahead of its Hong Kong debut, the company said the listing would allow investors across Asia to “participate in Alibaba’s growth,” as it seeks to tap “substantial new capital pools” in the region.

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The Hangzhou-based firm had originally considered a Hong Kong IPO in 2013, but opted for New York after failing to secure regulatory approval in the Asian territory.

The move to go ahead with the share sale in Hong Kong comes after Alibaba delayed plans to list there earlier this year, amid ongoing unrest and the US-China trade war.

The long-running protests have hurt the economy, which has fallen into recession, and knocked business confidence in the city.