On Friday, China's e-commerce giant Alibaba became the largest U.S.-listed initial public offering (IPO) in history; the company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "BABA". Alibaba is an online marketplace, similar to eBay and Amazon, only much larger. Transactions on Alibaba's website last year totaled more than eBay and Amazon combined. Jack Ma, a former English teacher, founded the company in 1999, in an apartment.
The IPO opened at $68 per share and closed at 4:00pm on Friday at $93.89 per share, a 38% jump in value. The near 40% increase signals investor optimism that Alibaba will be able to continue their massive growth as China's middle class continues to evolve and BABA expands their business to other parts of the globe.
Alibaba became available in the secondary market at $92.70 per share. Unlike Facebook's 2012 disastrous IPO, the first few hours went relatively smooth. Jack Ma acknowledged that years from now, he wants people to say that Alibaba has "changed the world" and wants the company to be comparable to iconic American companies such as Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and IBM. Whether or not Alibaba can effectively change the world remains unseen and only time will tell. However, after the company's successful IPO, Jack Ma is now the richest person in China, and has plenty of wool to spare.
Ethan Wade, Financial Advisor
(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).