Alibaba to close books early on share offer thanks to sizzling demand


Alibaba is set to close its books to investors earlier than planned thanks to sizzling demand for its stocks ahead of its second public listing.

Later this week Alibaba will launch the world’s biggest equity raising of 2019 on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, worth up to $13.4 billion.

The Chinese ecommerce giant is pushing ahead with the landmark listing despite many doubting it would be possible in 2019 thanks to the increasingly violent scenes on the streets of the city.

READ MORE: Alibaba IPO shrinks cash pool in Hong Kong

Far from putting investors off as many had feared, demand for Alibaba’s shares among international investors was better than expected, leading it to shut the book on institutional investors half a day ahead of schedule at 5pm GMT today.

“The book is well-covered,” one source told CNBC.

“The international offering received strong feedback.”

Alibaba is issuing 500 million new ordinary shares plus an extra 75 million “greenshoe” options, allowing underwriting banks to offer more shares than the original amount set.

Retail investors will be offered 12.5 million shares, though Alibaba will have the option to raise this to 50 million shares.

The final offer price will be set tomorrow and Alibaba’s shares will begin trading on November 26.

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