February 19, 2019 / 11:34 AM / 2 months ago

Alibaba boosts stake in investment bank CICC for $231 million

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has raised its stake in top domestic investment bank China International Capital Corp’s Hong Kong-listed shares to nearly 12 percent, an exchange disclosure showed on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Alibaba Group is seen at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, July 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

The internet giant bought 117 million CICC H-shares - as those listed in Hong Kong are known - at an average price of HK$15.50.

That indicates a total investment of HK$1.81 billion ($230.61 million), according to Reuters calculations based on the Hong Kong Exchange disclosure.

The investment means Alibaba is now the second-largest stakeholder of CICC’s H-shares, with an 11.74 percent stake.

Its arch-rival, social media giant Tencent Holdings, is the largest with a 12.01 percent stake, a separate exchange disclosure shows.

China’s powerful tech firms have expanded aggressively into the booming fintech sector by partnering with traditional financial institutions.

Counting two of China’s strongest internet firms as its major investors gives CICC more access to their extensive user data and advanced technology as it explores new growth areas.

In a statement to Reuters, Alibaba said its investment in CICC will strengthen their longtime partnership. 

CICC told Reuters it welcomes long-term investors and looks to cooperate with those with advanced technology to explore fintech services.

After the investment, Alibaba holds a 4.84 percent stake in CICC’s total equity.

CICC’s H-shares surged 2.55 percent on Monday before the disclosures were made, against a 0.42 percent dip in the Hong Kong stock market index.

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC cut its stake in CICC’s H-shares from 7.64 percent to 0.87 percent on the same date and at the same average price as Alibaba’s investment, suggesting it is the likely seller in the deal.

Reporting By Shu Zhang; Editing by Jan Harvey

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