Huge demand for the shares of giant Chinese internet retailer Alibaba caused them to surge to almost $100 each at one stage on their first day of trading in New York.
Internationally Alibaba is not a household name like Amazon and eBay, but in China it is ubiquitous accounting for 80 percent of online sales.
In Hong Kong, analyst Jeff Dorr of J Capital Research told euronews it is not clear how well it will fare against the other top e-retailers even though its domestic sales growth is massive – 40 percent – and about half that internationally.
“If you look at the international segment, it’s more in the high teens to 20 percent growth. At this stage I think it’s really difficult to say how much traction they’re gonna get, just because Amazon and eBay have such strong mind-share with consumers. I anticipate it will be expensive, I think it’s something that we will have to watch in the next three to five years,” Dorr said.
The shares shot up by more 40 percent above the $68 offering price because many investors received fewer than they had hoped for when they bid for them and so had to buy them on the open market.
Alibaba’s IPO – or initial public offering of shares – is the largest in history.
It is expected to make millionaires out of many of the company’s employees.
Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, a former English teacher, who set it up 15 years ago in his apartment, sees his personal fortune hit $19 billion on paper, putting him alongside such tech billionaires as Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.