Alibaba to list its shares in Hong Kong

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced plans to raise up to $13.4 billion by issuing shares in Hong Kong, a vote of confidence in the Asian financial hub that has been rocked by months of civil unrest.

Alibaba said in a stock market filing Wednesday that it wants to use a secondary listing in Hong Kong to fund its continued expansion into online travel, delivery and media.

The company founded by billionaire entrepreneur Jack Ma first tapped public markets in 2014, raising $25 billion in an offering on the New York Stock Exchange that shattered records as the largest IPO in history.

Alibaba will price 500 million new shares on or around November 20, with trading starting in Hong Kong roughly four business days later. At the current New York price of Alibaba’s shares, the offering could raise as much as $13.4 billion, if the company’s bankers exercise an option to purchase some additional shares.

In a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Alibaba said that funds from the IPO would be used to expand its online travel platform Fliggy and the digital video platform Youku.

Alibaba said it would also invest in new cloud computing and machine learning technology.

The listing would surpass AB InBev’s roughly $5 billion IPO of its Asia business in Hong Kong earlier this year as well as Uber’s $8.1 billion debut in New York, the year’s biggest so far. It could also cement Hong Kong’s status as this year’s largest exchange for public offerings.

The offering is the latest sign that investors and companies have not been scared away by months of protests in Hong Kong, which recently sank into its first recession in a decade.

One planned listing could knock Alibaba out of pole position, however. Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant Saudi Aramco is expected to go public later this year on the Riyadh stock exchange in what could be the biggest IPO in history.

— Laura He contributed reporting.