Singapore firms invest $1 billion in Alibaba

June 2, 2016 12:19 PM (UTC+8)

 

Even as SoftBank Group, Alibaba Group Holdings’ largest investor, cashes out, two of Singapore’s state-owned investment firms confirm their commitment to the e-commerce giant and confidence in a Chinese economic recovery with a $1 billion investment.

Temasek Holdings and GIC bought a combined $1 billion of stock in the Chinese e-commerce behemoth, the second-biggest stakes being sold by Japan’s Softbank. SoftBank is selling shares of Alibaba for the first time in 16 years. It’s selling $8.9 billion of its stake.

The two state-related investment firms will each pay $500 million, or $74 per Alibaba share, according to a statement from Alibaba. That would result in 6.76 million new shares each. In midday trading in New York, Alibaba shares stood at $77.

Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma meets Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg (not pictured), at the China Development Forum in Beijing, China, March 19, 2016. REUTERS/Shu Zhang/File Photo
Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma; REUTERS/Shu Zhang/File Photo

Both firms are already long-term investors in China’s biggest online retailer. Prior to the deal, Temasek owned 48.6 million American depositary receipts of Alibaba, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. GIC invested in the Chinese firm before its initial public offering in 2014, according to a person familiar with the transaction, who asked not to be identified for confidentiality reasons, said Bloomberg.

“The purchase shows that GIC and Temasek are still confident about China’s economy and the rise of e-commerce and technology in the country,” Margaret Yang, a market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, told Bloomberg. “It’s going to boost the national interest of Singapore in e-commerce in China and also in Southeast Asia.”

The purchases add to the technology holdings of both investment firms. In addition to Alibaba, Temasek and GIC hold major stakes in technology firms benefiting from the economic growth of the world’s second-biggest economy.

GIC owns 60 million shares worth $482 million in Hong-Kong listed AAC Technologies Holdings, a Chinese producer of miniaturized speakers and receivers for mobile phones, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It also owns a stake in Cheetah Mobile and ChinaCache International Holdings, said Bloomberg.

Temasek owns a $98-million stake in Tencent Holdings, the Chinese WeChat messaging app developer. Both GIC and Temasek own stakes in Internet service provider 21Vianet Group, with the Temasek stake valued at $157 million and GIC’s at $21 million.

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