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HONG KONG STOCKS: Some attention being paid to a report in the Financial Times
that Alibaba's finance unit Ant Financial has revived plans for an IPO after
putting off the idea around a year ago.
- According to the report, lawyers and bankers see "a dual mainland and Hong
Kong listing as the most likely outcome". With Ant Financial seen valued as high
as $140bln, even a small offering could be one of the largest IPOs to hit Hong
Kong exchanges in recent history.
- In recent months, Hong Kong IPOs can have outsized impacts on the HKD via
interbank borrowing rates. On several occasions last year, HIBOR rates rose
sharply as markets anticipated cash demand in Hong Kong ahead of the IPOs for
both AB InBev (circa $5bln in September) and Alibaba (circa $15bln in November).
- As such, it's likely a sizeable IPO from Ant Financial in Hong Kong would have
a similar impact and apply upward pressure to front-end HIBOR rates, thereby
tightening liquidity, strengthening the HKD and blowing out HKD forward rates.