Alibaba Plans China ‘listing’ by Mid-Year

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is planning a listing in its mainland via depositary receipts that could come as early as the middle of this year.

China has been trying to entice its offshore-listed tech giants such as Alibaba, giving Chinese investors more access to the fast-growing firms that have traditionally opted to list overseas or in Hong Kong.

Any listing would use “China depositary receipts” (CDRs), which is similar to American depositary receipts.  While those are not technically shares, those are certificates that allow investors to hold shares listed elsewhere.

“The new rules on CDRs may be introduced as soon as the end of next month,” the person told IFR. “So the first batch of issuers may launch CDRs as soon as the middle of this year.”

According to a report, China’s securities regulator was probably going to finalize guidelines for CDRs in the second half of this year.

Alibaba, which has a market capitalization of $473 billion, currently has a listing in the United States.

According to the person with knowledge of Alibaba’s CDR plans, the company’s fundraising size would not be determined anytime soon but may be more than 10 billion yuan ($1.58 billion).

The Chinese e-commerce giant has constantly said it is open to issuing shares on mainland China if compliant with Chinese regulation.

“Since our IPO in the U.S., we have stated that if regulations allow, we would consider a listing in China,” Alibaba said previously when asked about plans for issuing CDRs. The firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Moreover, China’s plan to allow CDRs could also open the door to other Chinese tech firms listed outside the mainland, including Inc., Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc., Weibo Corp and Sogou Inc.

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