The Alibaba IPO – five views from around the web

7th May 2014

Alibaba has certainly piqued the interest of the market with plans to list in the US with a reported $1bn float. Here Mindful Money scans the best analysis on the story from around the web.

The Wall Street Journal considers the issue of ownership. The float will allow Alibaba to buy back more of its shareholding from Yahoo! It will see Japan’s Softbank retain around a third of the stock with a director but little other control. This with remain with major shareholders Jack Ma and Joseph Tai and indeed that is one reason the firm decided to list in New York and not in Hong Kong. The territory’s stock market authorities objected to the founders’ demand that they appoint most of the board.

Mashable explains how the firm is close to but not exactly China’s equivalent of Amazon – it doesn’t – for example ship its own stock but it has a huge number of tie ups.

Business Insider has useful pullout of the firm’s recent financial performance.

The Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time blog publishes a letter which Jack Ma has sent to staff about the IPO. It is, he says, a stop off at a gas station, while the firm will continue its adherence to the “principle of “customer first, employee second, shareholder third.”.”

MarketWatch considers the bearish case and it’s a fascinating one. It says investors will actually be buying a stake in a Cayman’s based firm which will receive Alibaba’s profits not in Alibaba itself because China would not all such direct investment from overseas investors. 


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