SHANGHAI : Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba group is exploring a potential second listing in Hong Kong that could raise $20 billion as Beijing seeks to encourage its tech titans to list closer at home, a report on Tuesday said.

US-listed Alibaba is aiming to file an application in Hong Kong as early as the second half of of 2019, Bloomberg news reported,  quoting unidentified people with knowledge of the plans.

The listing would be intended to open up new funding channels for Alibaba whose 2014 listing in New York raised $25 billion in the world's largest initial public offering.

An Alibaba spokes person declined comment to AFP, saying the company does not respond to  ''market rumours''.

China has sought to encourage its current and future big tech firms to list nearer to home, including via a planned technology board in Shanghai that would be China's answer to the Nasdaq exchange.

The news comes with China and the United States locked in an escalating trade battle in which  Washington  has banned US companies from supplying technology to Chinese telecom and smartphone giant Huawei.

The Trump administration suspects Huawei has links to China's military, which would allow Beijing to access sensitive Data on global networks that use Huawei equipment. [AFP]


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