When talks broke down between Alibaba Group and Hong Kong regulators last fall, the company decided to try filing for its initial public offering in the US. Today, we can be rest-assured that those aforementioned regulators are now kicking themselves, because Alibaba's entrance on the market is nothing short of spectacular. It's no doubt also eye-opening to those in the US who've never even heard of the company before.
Alibaba's 'BABA" ticker was originally priced at $68, but when the day was through, it settled at a staggering $93.89 - 38% higher. The overwhelming support for the stock immediately made company founder Jack Ma the richest man in all of China, with his net worth now being well over $16 billion. It's hard to pin an exact figure, but what we do know is that he's surpassed Robin Li, Baidu's founder, whose net worth is $16.6 billion.
That's not all that makes this noteworthy. With its new market cap of $236 billion, Alibaba Group is effectively more valuable than Facebook ($200B), Amazon.com ($150B), and Citigroup ($163 billion). Further, this success has landed Ma in the top ten list of the wealthiest tech people worldwide, a list that includes such names as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Ellison.
Alibaba might not be that well known on these shores, but with its impressive IPO, that could change. It should be noted that many of Alibaba's businesses can be taken advantage of in North America already, such as its business-to-business and consumer-to-consumer portals, but its presence is surely only going to improve from here on out.