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Alibaba float priced at top end of range

The Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has priced its much-anticipated flotation in New York at $68 per share.

This is at the top end of its range, valuing the company at $167.62 billion (£102 billion), and follows its decision to raise the price from $60-$66 because of a huge appetite for the stock. It is likely to rise after trading in the shares begins on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday (19th).

Alibaba, launched by Jack Ma – now worth some $12 billion – will raise $21.8 billion in the IPO which could rise to $25bn if it exercises options available to it.

The flotation brings enormous kudos to China which, for all its economic might, lacks big brands to challenge western domination. Alibaba will eclipse Amazon (market cap $150 billion).

It controls some 80% of its domestic e-commerce market. It handled $248 billion in online transactions last year – more than Amazon and eBay combined.

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