By Serena Ng
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. stopped collecting orders early for its roughly $13 billion Hong Kong stock sale due to strong investor demand for its shares, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Chinese e-commerce giant closed the books on the institutional portion of the sale at noon EST on Tuesday instead of 4 p.m. during the New York day, the people said. Institutional investors in Asia could submit orders for the offering until 4 p.m. Hong Kong time Tuesday, while investors in Europe could do so until 4 p.m. London time.
Alibaba last week kicked off one of the largest share sales globally this year ahead of a secondary listing in Hong Kong on Nov. 26. The offering is already multiple times subscribed, the people said. A small part of the Hong Kong share sale has been set aside for individual investors, and the final proportion will depend on the volume of orders received. The deal is expected to price Wednesday.
The company earlier said it expected to determine the price of the Hong Kong shares on or around Nov. 20, based on the closing price of its New York-listed American depositary shares /zigman2/quotes/201948298/composite BABA +2.87% on Tuesday. Last week banks underwriting the deal estimated it could be worth about $11.7 billion in total. That could increase to more than $13 billion if they exercise an option to buy more shares after trading begins. Investors have been guided to expect a price of HK$176 (US$22.49) a share, a person familiar with the matter said.
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