Alibaba shares surge almost 50% higher in debut

<p>So, the wait is over. BABA, also known as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is now available for the public to trade. A little more than […]</p>

So, the wait is over.

BABA, also known as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is now available for the public to trade.

A little more than an hour ago, the stock quote came to life on the screens of millions of ordinary investors around the world.

The official starting price was $92.70, already more than 36% above the indicative starting price agreed by Alibaba Group of $68 per share.

The price rapidly advanced during the next 15 minutes or so until it reached $99.70, approaching 50% more than the price initially offered by the company.

At that point, the company was worth $245.76bn in market terms alone.

The stock then steadily eased back from the powerful psychological level of $100, and is currently trading a little above $90. That’s still a very respectable 32% higher than the stated starting price.

Current prices would still value Alibaba above Facebook Inc. or Inc. in market capitalisation terms.

Also, if news reports are to be believed, underwriting banks (they basically manage an IPO) will exercise their option to sell an additional 48m shares. This will increase the size of the total value of stock sold during the institutional phase of the IPO to $25bn.

That confirms Alibaba Group’s IPO as the biggest ever.


Asian market participation

An important point to note is that this share sale is taking place in a time zone (New York Time) that puts Asian investors at a small disadvantage due to the fact that it’s the dead of night where they are right now.

No doubt, this will not have discouraged hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of enthusiastic Asian investors, one jot.

However, the majority will have sensibly decided to give the stock market a rest in favour of normal evening activities and instead will wait to buy Alibaba stock on Monday.

This suggests next week could bring sessions in which BABA is traded with almost as much enthusiasm and volatility as we’ve witnessed this evening.

There is also the possibility the stock could re-approach the $100 level it flirted with today.

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