Feeds

Alibaba.com soars on magic carpet

IPOpen sesame

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Faith in the promised Chinese internet boom went fanatical today, with speculators sending new shares in ecommerce portal Alibaba.com rocketing almost 200 per cent in its first day of trading.

The stock on offer opened in Hong Kong at $1.74, and closed at $5.15, having debuted 257 times oversubscribed.

That makes for a market cap of $25.7bn*, or about 155 times next year's estimated profits. By comparison, Wall Street wonderboy Google trades at 35 times its earnings.

Alibaba flogged off shares in its business trading tentacle, Alibaba International, raising $1.5bn. It marks the biggest internet IPO since Google raked $1.9bn in 2004. The Chinese firm took this as good enough reason to slap its own back in full-page Financial Times ads today.

Alibaba International offers Chinese businesses a cheap way to find each other and trade online. Its parent company Alibaba Group also runs Taobao.com, an eBay-style site pitched at Chinese consumers, which was not part of today's public offering.

The B2B site accounted for 43 per cent of Chinese ecommerce transactions in the three months ended 30 June, though many pay no charge to Alibaba for the service. Premium subscribers purchase preferential access to buyers.

The group was founded in 1999 by former English teacher Jack Ma, who said ahead of the sale that Alibaba aims to become the "leading e-commerce platform for China, Asia, and even the world".

"The performance of the shares today show our pricing was reasonable," he added after bagging the bucks. Some analysts had said even the initial price of $1.74 was a bit rich. They're expecting a correction when speculators who deliberately drive prices skywards soon cash out.

Yahoo! owns 39 per cent of Alibaba Group, which it got in return for ownership of Yahoo! China and $1bn in 2005. ®

*Small potatoes. Yesterday's flotation of Far East oil giant PetroChina created the world's first trillion-dollar company.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.