Alibaba completes secondary Hong Kong listing
Alibaba has completed a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX).
Alibaba already listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) five years ago in 2014. To this day the biggest IPO ever, the occasion raised some $25bn for the company. The secondary listing in an Asian market will likely make it easier for Asian investors to participate in the trading of the company’s stock.
Prior to the listing, the company announced the share pricing. With 500mn shares At HK$176 each (with the option of releasing a further 75mn conditional on demand), Alibaba expected gross proceeds to reach HK$88bn (US$11.24bn). In actuality, the listing did indeed raise over US$11bn, sending Aliba shares spiking 6% on the exchange.
The move comes after a bumper $38bn Singles’ Day which set new records for the company as well as the release of positive quarterly results. Standouts included revenue increasing 40% year-over-year and active consumers reaching 693mn. The company made it clear it planned to reinvest the money raised from the offering into improving “user growth and engagement”, as well as facilitating digital transformation.
Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang said in a press release: “On this important milestone, I want to thank our customers first and foremost. My gratitude goes to all the Alibaba consumers who have supported us over the past 20 years, standing by us through our trial and error, as well as innovation for the future.
“We are also grateful for being a part of this era, which is driven by digital innovation. Through the development of the internet and digital economy, we have been granted the opportunity to fulfill our founding mission, ‘to make it easy to do business anywhere.’ We want to use digital technology to help our customers and partners embrace the era of the digital economy.”
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.