MA: IPO DATE NOT YET SET

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS -

Chi­nese e-com­merce gi­ant AlibabaGroup Hold­ing Ltd has yet to fi­nal­ize the ex­act date for its ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing in the United States, a top com­pany of­fi­cial said on Thurs­day.

Jack Ma, founder and chair­man of Alibaba, de­nied that the group will list its shares in theUS on Aug 8, which, in Chi­nese, su­per­sti­tious­ly­means “dou­ble for­tune”.

“I knowthat you guys talk aboutAu­gust 8. I also learned it on the In­ter­net yes­ter­day. But for sure, I don’t knowwhen and in which stock mar­ketwe will launch the IPO,” Ma­said.

Mamade the re­marks in Guangzhou, the cap­i­tal of Guang­dong prov­ince, on Thurs­day, af­ter Alibaba signed an agree­ment with Ever­grande Real Es­tate GroupCo Ltd to buy 50 per­cent of shares of a soc­cer club owned by the Guangzhou-based property gi­ant.

The e-com­merce gi­ant of­fi­cially filed early in­May to go pub­lic in theUS in what could be the largest ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing ever.

Ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg, Alibaba­may use “BABA” as its trans­ac­tion code in theUS stock mar­ket, butMare­fused to make fur­ther com­ments on de­tails of the list­ing.

“To­daywe are talk­ing about co­op­er­a­tion with Ever­grande in the soc­cer field, which will strate­gi­cally help boost busi­ness growth for both sides,” Ma said.

The agree­ment with Ever­grande marked the lat­est in a se­ries of high­pro­file ac­qui­si­tions by Alibaba as its seeks to ex­pand its busi­ness port­fo­lio ahead of the planned list­ing in theUS, which could help raise about $15 bil­lion.

Alibaba op­er­ates China’smost pop­u­lar on­line shop­ping plat­form, Taobao, which is es­ti­mated to hold more than 90 per­cent of the on­line mar­ket for con­sumer-to-con­sumer trans­ac­tions.

The com­pany also ac­quired a 10.35 per­cent stake in Sin­ga­pore Post for $249 mil­lion as part of a strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion deal at the end ofMay.

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