Feeds

Alibaba.com soars on magic carpet

IPOpen sesame

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Judge nixes HP deal for director amnesty after $8.8bn Autonomy snafu
Lawyers will have to earn their keep the hard way, says court
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?