Sep 19, 2014 9:00 PM

Alibaba stock soars in jubilant trading debut

NEW YORK – Alibaba debuted as a publicly traded company Friday and swiftly climbed nearly 40 percent in a mammoth IPO that offered eager investors seemingly unlimited growth potential and a way to tap into the burgeoning Chinese middle class. The sharp demand for shares sent the market value of the e-commerce giant soaring well beyond that of Amazon, eBay and even Facebook. The initial public offering was on track to be the world’s largest, with the possibility of raising as much as $25 billion. Jubilant CEO Jack Ma stood on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as eight Alibaba customers rang the opening bell. “We want to be bigger than Wal-Mart,” Ma said. “We hope in 15 years, people say this is a company like Microsoft, IBM, Wal-Mart. They changed, shaped the world.” The company’s online ecosystem stands apart from most e-commerce rivals because it does not sell anything directly, preferring to connect individuals and small businesses.


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