Alibaba founder says to consider Hong Kong listing: SCMP

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HONG KONG (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will consider a listing in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post reported the company’s founder Jack Ma as saying – remarks which follow the city’s decision to allow dual class share listings.

Ma was responding to an invitation by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to list in the city during a discussion at an event in Hong Kong.

“Alibaba will take this message. We will definitely consider Hong Kong’s market,” the newspaper quoted Ma as saying. “We hope we can further invest in Hong Kong and enhance our participation in the city’s economy,” he said.

Alibaba held its record $25 billion public float in New York in 2014 after Hong Kong, its favoured venue, refused to accept its governance structure where a self-selecting group of senior managers control the majority of board appointments.

But Hong Kong is now set to allow dual-class shares under rule changes to be proposed by the city’s stock exchange as it raises the stakes in its battle against New York for blockbuster Chinese initial public offerings (IPOs).

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the city’s exchange operator, said in December that it had begun drafting specific rule changes that will be put up for a formal public consultation in the first three months of 2018.

Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Edwina Gibbs