Monday, November 05, 2007

HK$ 'peg' secure from Ali-IPO

Last week we asked whether the Alibaba IPO could break the Hong Kong $:US$ peg. At the time, we didn't think so and today Bloomberg confirms that the Ali-IPO was not the secret "open sesame" code that speculators have been seeking for so long (and with such spectacularly little success). The piece notes:

Investors needed Hong Kong dollars to order shares in the Chinese Internet company's $1.5 billion IPO, the biggest for an Internet company since Google Inc.'s 2004 offer.

And Alibaba was just one of the 33 companies that sought a total sum of HK$69 billion ($8.9 billion) last month from overeager investors. This demand for Hong Kong stock worsened a demand-supply mismatch in the city's currency.

I have to say, even in the grown-up world of big boys' financial markets, that $69 billion sounds like a lot of money to me.

Anyway, it seems that the worst we can now fear is columnists and analysts playing fast with Alibaba jokes for a few more days. So, this Bloomberg piece had the "open sesame" crack. Today's South China Morning Post had the old "and what I want to know is where are the 40 thieves" variation. I suppose we'll have to wait 'til Europe wakes up for some saucy puns about Scheherezade.

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