Sources tell Reuters Alibaba will start its roadshow the week of September 8th, and start trading the following week. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Mark your calendars- Alibaba is coming. Sources tell Reuters the road show could start September 8th- with a debut on the NYSE the week of September 15th. The Chinese e-commerce leader, which accounts for 80 percent of all online retail sales in China, could be worth as much as $200 billion. Renaissance Capital's Kathleen Smith: SOUNDBITE: KATHLEEN SMITH, CHAIRMAN, RENAISSANCE CAPITAL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think to put that into perspective, Wal-Mart has a $244 billion valuation. This one, if it were over $200 billion is catching up with our largest retailer here. And we look at Amazon and Ebay combined, and they have together a $200 billion market cap. So this is company is a juggernaut. It is representative of the digital economy in China, and we think that you know that is why and if you look at the numbers that is why perhaps that valuation makes sense." In fact revenue has been soaring ahead of the offering- up 46 percent year on year in the second quarter. That's even better than the 39 percent revenue growth from the first quarter. Key here- about one third of the transaction volume was from mobile. Max Wolff of Manhattan Venture Partners: SOUNDBITE: MAX WOLFF, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MANHATTAN VENTURE PARTNERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Whenever you have a big new kid on the block who is that profitable, who is also growing at a stupendous rate of growth, right, so we are looking at high-triple-digit growth rates in some key metrics out of Alibaba. Alibaba is a game where you are betting on the future of Chinese e-commerce, which is pretty exciting. Because you still have about 700 million people who are functionally not online yet in China, so it's not as mature a market. Also, the mobile revolution is even faster and more exciting in China than here in the U.S." But it may not be a slam dunk on day one. SOUNDBITE: KATHLEEN SMITH, CHAIRMAN, RENAISSANCE CAPITAL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It could have a bit of a rocky road as it gets absorbed into portfolios. We manage an ETF that will include Alibaba. But many ETF's and indexes will have to figure out how this company fits, because they are not sure whether a Chinese company- how you categorize that. Could it be in the S&P 500? Maybe not. It's not a U.S. company. But being listed in the U.S. So we do think investors have to be ready." All this - contingent on approval from the SEC. More financials still have to be filed, including the expected price range.