In the biggest stock market listing so far this year, Alibaba Group Holding went public on the stock exchange in Hong Kong on Nov. 25 at a price only 3 percent lower than on the New York Stock Exchange, where it went public in 2014, rasing $25 billion.
The flotation is set to raise proceed of around $12.9 billion including an overallotment option that has yet to be exercised.
The huge secondary offer of new shares is being priced just below the original target of $13.4 billion. It is intended to help finance its ongoing diversification into cloud computing and other areas.
It was the first “paperless” listing on the Hang Seng exchange, eliminating the need to post printed prospectuses at various banks. The move was postponed in August because of the strong protests against the Chinese government in Hong Kong.
The giant Chinese e-tailer seems to be immune to the difficult economic environment caused by the ongoing U.S.-China dispute, the demonstrations in Hong Kong and an increasingly competitive e-commerce industry. Supported by growth in e-commerce and cloud computing, Alibaba's revenues for its second fiscal quarter ended on Sept. 30 soared by 40 percent from the quarter a year ago to 119,017 million yuan renmimbi (€15.4bn-$16.5bn).
Alibaba also saw its adjusted Ebitda progress by 39 percent to RMB 37,101 million (€4.8bn-$5.2bn). Overall, the company's adjusted net income jumped by 40 percent to RMB 32,750 million (€4.2bn-$4.6bn) in the quarter.
Taobao, the group's main consumer-to-consumer platform, expanded into lower-tier cities with the help of the group's mobile payment app, Alipay, which is partly owned by Alibaba. At the end of the past financial year, Idle Fish, Taobao's active C2C community and marketplace, had 1.3 million interest-based communities and 60 million active sellers.
Overall, the number annual active consumers on the group's retail marketplaces in China reached 693 million, an increase of 19 million from the 12-month period ended on June 30, 2018.
Revenues from Alibaba's core e-commerce business rose by 40 percent to RMB 101,220 million (€13.0bn-$13.5bn). Sales from the wholesale business in China jumped by 31 percent to RMB 3,283 million (€424.9m-$459.3m).
Alibaba's revenues from foreign retail operations advanced by 35 percent to RMB 6,007 million (€777.4m-$840.0m), primarily due to the strong performance of AliExpress and Lazada, Southeast Asia's leading e-commerce platform. Revenues from the international wholesale business gained 20 percent to RMB 2,434 million (€314.0m-$341.5m), led by increases in the average revenues from paying members on alibaba.com.
Thanks to heavy investments in cloud computing, artificial intelligence and online entertainment, revenues from the cloud business soared by 64 percent to RMB 9,291 million (€1.2bn-$1.3bn), while sales from the digital entertainment and media business improved by 23 percent to RMB 5,940 million (€768.7m-$845.7m).
As the company continues to evolve, its chief executive, Daniel Zhang, took over from its co-founder, Jack Ma, as chairman in September, when Alibaba celebrated is 20th anniversary.
Over the next few years, the group is aiming to serve over one billion annual active consumers and help its merchants achieve over RMB 10 trillion (€1.3tn-$1.4tn) in annual gross merchandise volume by the end of fiscal 2024.