Alibaba shares surge almost 8pc

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Hong Kong

Shares in Chinese online retail giant Alibaba soared almost eight percent on their Hong Kong debut Tuesday, after raising at least $11 billion in the city’s biggest IPO in nearly a decade. The much-vaunted start came after a glitzy ceremony at the city’s stock exchange attended by company CEO Daniel Zhang, city Financial Secretary Paul Chan and former Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa. The company drew back the curtains on the trading day and immediately saw its share price rally. It had set the price for each share at HK$176, but it soon jumped 7.67 percent to HK$189.5 in the first few minutes. Alibaba called the listing a vote of confidence in the city, which has been wracked by months of sometimes violent protests and the China-US trade war, which have sent the local economy into recession. In a sign of the tensions that still permeate Hong Kong after some of the worst violence of the unrest, riot police were stationed outside the exchange on Tuesday. —AFP