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(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was among the many Wall Street banks that missed out on underwriting Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Hong Kong share sale. Now, its analysts are showering China’s largest company with compliments.Goldman stock analysts just initiated coverage of the shares with a buy rating, predicting they can rally another 31% in the city over the next year. Reasons include its “experienced senior” management team and reach in China’s digital economy.Alibaba can capture nearly a third of China’s retail payments this year, analysts led by Piyush Mubayi wrote in the report. It also has the potential to surpass core growth, Goldman added.Shares of the Chinese technology firm rose 2.7% to HK$197.50 on Friday, extending the advance since their Nov. 26 debut to 12%. The company raised about HK$88 billion ($11.2 billion) in its share sale, the biggest equity offering in the financial hub since 2010.Alibaba may see about $5 billion of mainland inflows over the next three years if it’s included in the trading links with Shanghai and Shenzhen, the bank added.Some investors have cautioned against unrealistic expectations on the stock, saying certain restrictions may curtail trading in the Hong Kong shares.Still, Goldman says that around 8% to 10% of Alibaba’s stock should eventually trade in Hong Kong as U.S. investors should be able to convert their American shares into Hong Kong ones and vice versa. The stock could have a free-float market capitalization in the city of about $48 billion.Analysts at Jefferies Group LLC initiated the stock with a buy rating.(Updates prices in fourth paragraph)To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Livia Yap in Shanghai at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at email@example.com, Philip Glamann, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son unveiled a $184 million initiative Friday to accelerate artificial intelligence research in Japan, enlisting Alibaba’s Jack Ma to expound on his goal of commercializing the technology.Son’s company announced a partnership with the University of Tokyo that includes spending 20 billion yen ($184 million) over 10 years by mobile arm SoftBank Corp. to establish the Beyond AI Institute. He roped in the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder for an on-campus chat, during which the two billionaires discussed their vision for the future of technology.The institute will support 150 researchers from various disciplines and focus on transitioning AI research from the academic to the commercial using joint ventures between universities and companies. Health-care, city and social infrastructure and manufacturing will be the primary areas of focus, SoftBank Corp. said in a statement. That dovetails with its own goals: in November, SoftBank and Korea’s Naver Corp. said they plan to merge Yahoo Japan and Line Corp. into an internet giant under SoftBank’s control, to combine resources on AI and challenge leaders from Google to Tencent Holdings Ltd.Read more: SoftBank to Create Japan Internet Giant to Battle Global RivalsSon has long advocated AI as the most revolutionary new field of technological development. The Beyond AI Institute marks an investment in accelerating that research on his home turf, where he has previously bemoaned the relative under-performance of Japan’s startup scene. At the same time, he’ll be eager to put behind him a tough 2019 thanks to the calamitous implosion at WeWork and the shrinking values of Uber Technologies Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc.Offering a reminder of his most fruitful investment, Son hosted a talk with Ma, whose online retail empire has been the crown jewel in SoftBank’s investment portfolio. The two exchanged compliments and advocated passion, optimism and world-changing visions as essential to successful entrepreneurship.“In the past 20 years, we’ve been friends, partners and like soulmates in changing people’s lives,” said Son. Ma, in turn, said: “He probably has the biggest guts in the world when doing investment.”In a rare expression of contrition, Son recently said “there was a problem with my own judgment” after the WeWork debacle. He has imposed greater financial discipline on startups since then. On Friday, he said his enthusiasm for grand projects was undimmed. “My passion and dream is more than 100 times bigger than what I am right now. I am still only at the first step to my 100 steps.”To contact the reporters on this story: Vlad Savov in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org;Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Vlad Savov, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Weeks after his billion-dollar bailout of WeWork, SoftBank Group Corp's founder and CEO Masayoshi Son reiterated his belief in an instinct-led investing style, in a discussion with Alibaba Group Holding Inc's co-founder Jack Ma. SoftBank owns 26% of China's Alibaba, with its origin in a $20 million investment in 2000, and the stake is now worth more than the Japanese firm's market capitalization. Son on Friday said the decision to invest in Alibaba was driven by gut feeling.
If granted the permit, AutoX would be able to test self-driving cars with a backup provided by a remote human operator rather than a driver in the vehicle, a step forward in the race to operate the first commercial driverless delivery vans or taxis in the state. Google-backed Waymo is the only company so far to have secured a full licence for testing without a safety driver.
(Bloomberg) -- Some of China’s wealthiest tycoons steered billions of dollars into electric-car companies in order to fuel the country’s dreams of becoming a leader in the field. Now a reckoning may be looming as car sales slow and the government reduces subsidies for the nascent industry.That leaves the flagship companies of Jack Ma, Pony Ma, Hui Ka Yan and Robin Li facing an increasingly steep path to profitability on their bets that electric vehicles can be smartphones-on-wheels connecting passengers to other businesses. Their capital, along with dozens of startups raising $18 billion, helped inflate an electric bubble that now looks to be in danger of popping.China’s car market is experiencing a prolonged sales slump, prompting EV makers to slash earnings outlooks. With China considering further cuts to the subsidies for consumer purchases in order to force automakers to compete on their own, a shakeout is looming that not even the tycoons’ support may be able to prevent, said Rachel Miu, an analyst with DBS Group Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong. “For the new kids on the block in the EV space, it’s a steep uphill climb,” she said.Here’s what China’s richest people have to show for their companies’ EV investments:Alibaba: Xpeng Coupe, AccusationsJack Ma stepped down as chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in September after amassing a $40 billion-plus fortune, but China’s richest man retains his board seat -- and influence -- at the e-commerce emporium he created. Alibaba has participated in several funding rounds for Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors Technology Co., or Xpeng Motors, including one in 2018 that raised 2.2 billion yuan ($313 million) for the carmaker co-founded by former Alibaba executive He Xiaopeng.Xpeng launched its first vehicle, the five-seat G3 SUV, last year and has sold 11,940 vehicles so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.The company, founded in 2014, also is teaming up with more-established automakers. A factory built with Haima Automobile Co. can produce 150,000 EVs annually. Another should soon begin assembling the P7 coupe, scheduled to begin deliveries next year.The journey hasn’t been without controversy, though, as some engineers bound for Xpeng stand accused of stealing from their ex-employers in the U.S. In March, Tesla Inc. sued a former engineer, alleging he uploaded files, directories and copies of source code to his personal cloud storage account before resigning. Also, a former Apple Inc. engineer was indicted last year for allegedly pilfering self-driving car secrets on his way to an Xpeng job. His trial is upcoming.Xpeng wasn’t accused of wrongdoing.“We are very adamant that we pursue our own R&D,” President Brian Gu said. “Copyright is very important to us.”Hangzhou-based Alibaba, the second-largest shareholder in Xpeng, didn’t answer specific questions about the automaker.Xiaomi Corp., the consumer-electronics company, participated in another $400 million fundraising round, the automaker said Nov. 13.Tencent: NIO Lists, Then CutsPony Ma’s Tencent Holdings Ltd., whose WeChat messaging app helped make him China’s second-richest person, led a $1 billion investment round in NIO Inc. in 2017. With more than 26,000 vehicles sold, NIO’s one of the few Chinese startups making multiple models, and it beat rivals with an initial public offering in New York last year.But losses piled up with the overall sales slump and as the company, which has been described as “China’s Tesla,” plowed money into marketing and real estate. It sponsored a Bruno Mars concert and opened luxury clubs for NIO owners that feature showrooms, coffee bars and performance spaces. By August the company had opened 19 NIO Houses over 22 months, and combined rental expenses were equivalent to 6.3% of revenue during the 12 months ended March, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.“NIO chooses the direct sales mode and pays great attention to user experience,” the company said. It doesn’t plan to close its existing clubs -- or open new ones.NIO lost $2.8 billion in the 12 months ended June on revenue of $1.2 billion, and its shares have plunged this year. The Shanghai-based company cut about 20% of its workforce through September. Separately, NIO has said that Tencent and Chief Executive Officer William Li planned to inject $100 million each into the company, though the carmaker hasn’t clarified whether the investment has been completed.“Our sales have been under pressure since the subsidies went down,” Li said. “It has come to a new era that one can only win customers with quality products and services.”Shenzhen-based Tencent expressed support for EVs but didn’t answer specific questions about NIO.Evergrande: High HopesOne of the more startling entrants in the EV industry is property developer China Evergrande Group, which declared it wanted to be the world’s biggest manufacturer within three to five years. That means surpassing Tesla, which just opened a factory in Shanghai. Between September 2018 and June 2019, Evergrande invested more than $3.8 billion in EV-related companies, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, and will start producing its Hengchi brand next year.Evergrande, which wants to open 10 production bases, plans to spend 45 billion yuan on new-energy vehicles between 2019 and 2021. On Nov. 10, a unit announced it would spend almost $3 billion to boost its stake in National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB to 82% from 68%.Billionaire chairman and founder Hui Ka Yan, who’s diversifying into businesses such as soccer and health care, acknowledged there isn’t much overlap between Evergrande’s real-estate business and its EV ambitions.“We don’t have any talent, technology, experience, or production base in manufacturing cars,” Hui said. “How can we compete with the century-old automakers in the world?”His answer: by opening Evergrande’s wallet.“Whatever core technology and company we can buy, we will buy,” he said.Yet Hui’s whatever-it-takes strategy may take a toll on Evergrande because of the cash-burning nature of NEV investments. The company’s forecast of spending 45 billion yuan is probably an underestimate, and that may exacerbate its cash crunch, according to BI.“This could crimp its home-sales margin given an urgency to sustain price cuts to boost cash collection from sales,” analyst Kristy Hung said in a Nov. 22 report.Baidu: WM Factories, LawsuitRobin Li, the CEO of China’s dominant internet search-engine company, made WM Motor Technology Co. part of Baidu Inc.’s move into autonomous driving. Baidu led a fundraising round this year that generated 3 billion yuan for the Shanghai-based automaker. Baidu owns a 13% stake.WM rolled out an electric SUV last year and has delivered more than 19,000 vehicles, Chief Strategy Officer Rupert Mitchell said. So far this year, WM sold 14,273 of its battery-powered SUVs, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That puts WM behind market leader BYD Co. -- backed by Warren Buffett -- and NIO, but ahead of Xpeng. WM launched a second SUV model on Nov. 22.WM has an advantage over rivals started by employees from internet companies, Mitchell said. Founder Freeman Shen used to run Volvo Car Group in China.“We are not moonlighters from the technology industry that are having a crack at mass-market automotive,” he said.Volvo parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has sued WM, seeking 2.1 billion yuan compensation for alleged copyright infringement, Chinese state media reported in September. WM has denied wrongdoing.WM is producing vehicles at fully owned factories, which helps maintain quality control, Mitchell said. The company, which is opening a second factory next year that can make 150,000 vehicles annually, wants to raise another $1 billion, Mitchell said.Baidu declined to comment.(Updates 16th paragraph to clarify status of NIO investment)\--With assistance from Emma Dong, Tian Ying and Gao Yuan.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Bruce Einhorn in Hong Kong at email@example.com;Chunying Zhang in Shanghai at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at email@example.com, ;Emma O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org, Michael TigheFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- A top-performing JPMorgan fund focused on emerging-market stocks trimmed its bet on Tencent Holdings Ltd., selling shares of what was its largest holding in July as the Chinese technology company struggles to stage a comeback.JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s $6.5 billion Emerging Markets Equity Fund, which outperformed 94% of peers this year, reduced its position in Tencent by 14% as of Oct. 31, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Shares of Tencent, the largest company in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index by market capitalization, fell to a nine-month low on Oct. 30. JPMorgan declined to comment.Tencent has been trying to recover from 2018 losses after a nine-month Chinese freeze on game approvals gutted its most profitable business last year. Yet the stock dropped 16% in U.S. dollar terms from an April high as China’s economic slowdown weighed on efforts to revive growth. Even so, 50 of the 57 analysts tracked by Bloomberg recommend investors buy the stock.While trimming its Tencent exposure, its fifth-biggest holding, the JPMorgan fund boosted wagers on Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd., ITC Ltd. and Bank Rakyat Indonesia Persero Tbk PT, the data show. The fund also added 2% to its position in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., currently its top holding.(Updates to add chart)\--With assistance from Sofia Horta e Costa and Stephen Tan.To contact the reporter on this story: Andres Guerra Luz in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Carolina Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alec D.B. McCabe, Philip SandersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s landmark $11 billion share sale and listing in Hong Kong on Nov. 26 was galvanized by expectations the Chinese e-commerce giant will attract a vast pool of capital from its home country. But some investors caution against unrealistic expectations, especially by mainland investors, and highlight certain restrictions that still govern -- and potentially curtail -- trading activity in Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares.The company’s sheer size and the unprecedented nature of its secondary listing (the primary listing is still in New York) and unique management structure present challenges for investors hoping to gauge everything from Alibaba’s inclusion in indexes -- crucial because they direct the flow of capital from tracker funds -- to its listing status.Here’s what we know.1\. Will Alibaba get added to the Hang Seng Index?Not right now. Alibaba will be added to Hang Seng Composite Index on Dec. 9, but it isn’t qualified to join the benchmark Hang Seng Index or the Hang Seng China Enterprise Index because they comprise only primary listings and corporations without so-called weighted voting rights (WVR).Membership of the 50-member Hang Seng is coveted by corporations because it could trigger billions of dollars of inflows from funds tracking the 50-year-old gauge. Hang Seng Indexes Co. plans a consultation in the first quarter to discuss issues including whether firms with weighted voting rights, like Alibaba, should be eligible for the HSI. Any conclusions should be published by May, Daniel Wong, its head of research and analytics, said in a statement. Even if the index compiler decides to overhaul its rules, the required process means it may not be until late 2020 before Alibaba could join the major Hang Seng benchmarks.Representatives for HKEx and Alibaba declined to comment.Read more: Why Now, and Why Hong Kong, for Alibaba’s Share Sale?: QuickTake2\. Will Alibaba be included in the stock connect program?Maybe, but a lot hinges on policy makers. China doesn’t spell out criteria or qualifications for joining the program, which allows mainland investors to buy stocks listed in Hong Kong. Unlike the HSI, the program isn’t limited to primary listings. It does require review by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the stock market watchdog.The first companies in stock connect with weighted voting rights were Meituan Dianping and Xiaomi Corp., which mainland investors got access to in late October through the program. That’s after similarly structured Chinese firms started listing in July on Shanghai’s new tech-focused Star board. Many investors expect Beijing to ultimately allow Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares to trade through the stock link with the city as well.But it may not necessarily be in China’s best interest to do so. That’s because other U.S.-listed Chinese firms -- among the country’s largest corporations, from JD.com Inc. to Baidu Inc. -- may be encouraged to follow in Alibaba’s footsteps and conduct their own secondary listings in Hong Kong, bypassing the Shanghai or Shenzhen bourses. That may run counter to Beijing’s longstanding ambitions of developing healthy, vibrant mainland exchanges, particularly as unrest grips Hong Kong.3\. Can Alibaba change its primary listing to Hong Kong?It’s possible -- thereby attracting investors with a preference for main listings, and at the same time scoring brownie points with some in Beijing who could view that as supporting China’s policy ambitions. Alibaba was given the green light to list in Hong Kong based on a new “Secondary Listing” rule, or Chapter 19C. It allows companies to conduct follow-on share offerings without complying with more stringent rules laid down by Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. governing first-time listees.Alibaba may enjoy special status in having more freedom to comply with Hong Kong listing requirements. Under rules laid out in a consultation paper in April last year, Chinese firms that went public before Dec. 15, 2017 don’t need to comply with “WVR” safeguards if they later switch their primary listing to Hong Kong. Alibaba, which debuted in New York in 2014, said in its Hong Kong listing prospectus it’s a “WVR” company similar to Meituan and Xiaomi.Meanwhile, Alibaba employs a fairly unique structure in which a group of partners have the right to nominate a majority of the firm’s board -- exerting outsized influence on Alibaba’s direction.In addition, Hong Kong listing rules say if trading volume there exceeds 55% of global turnover over an entire fiscal year, the stock has to adopt primary listing status in Hong Kong. HKEx gives such Chinese companies a year to comply. But with Hong Kong’s stock registration office listing just 23% of outstanding Alibaba shares as of Nov. 28, a majority of trading volume occurring there may be a tall order.\--With assistance from Paul Geitner and Fox Hu.To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin Chan, Kevin KingsburyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The company has received approval to list 75 million over-allotment shares at HK$176 per share, the same price it offered under its secondary listing, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. Alibaba on Nov. 20 raised up to $12.9 billion in a landmark listing in Hong Kong, the largest share sale in the city in nine years and a world record for a cross-border secondary share sale. In their first session of trade on Nov. 26, Alibaba's Hong Kong shares closed up 6.6% higher from the issue price in heavy trading.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on TwitterTwitter Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey returned from a trip touring African startups ready to go back.He said in a Twitter post last week that he’ll spend three to six months somewhere on the continent next year. Dorsey had spent much of November meeting with startups and people in the tech industry in South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Ghana.But investors have appeared less convinced of the executive’s intentions over the following days. Twitter’s shares have declined since Dorsey announced his plans -- down about 2.4% since Nov. 27 -- and his other company, payments firm Square, has fallen almost 4% compared to a 1.3% drop in the S&P 500 Index.The continent is one of the fastest growing regions for tech adoption thanks to a young population and an emerging middle class. People there have become early users of new technology, such as payments apps. Funding of African startups more than doubled last year to $1.16 billion, mainly driven by fintech investments, according to a report from venture capital firm Partech Partners.Dorsey’s Square fits in well with Africa’s embrace of mobile payments, though the company doesn’t currently have an office there.According to the GSMA industry association’s report this year, Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest growth in wireless adoption, with a large number of jobs and economic growth tied to mobile. African leaders are also working to establish the world’s largest free-trade zone, the African Continental Free Trade Area, which would cover a market of 1.2 billion people. The deal is set to kick in next year.Read more about the African trade dealJack Ma, the co-founder of Chinese tech company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., said last month that African entrepreneurs will find countless opportunities in e-commerce, logistics and e-payments as the continent prepares for the start of a the deal.Some large companies from the continent have started to go public. African e-commerce platform Jumia Technologies AG listed in New York this year at a value of more than $1.9 billion. South African giant Naspers Ltd. spun off its Dutch technology investment unit, Prosus NV, in September.To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Nate LanxonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Investing.com - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group Holding Ltd (HK:9988)’s shares in Hong Kong continued to dip on Monday after having risen nearly 10% since its high-profile debut last week.
What went down in Hong Kong this week is worth digging into.There was a notable election, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba debuted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Trump weighed in.
Alibaba fell modestly, but near session highs after sinking to 189.85 intraday, just above a 188.38 buy point. The volume on the pullback hasn't been as strong as the breakout.