ACGA Survey on Alibaba

On  April 15, 2014, ACGA held a press conference to release its "Survey on Alibaba and Non-Standard Shareholding in Hong Kong". The survey asked global and regional institutional investors a series of questions on the dual-class share issue, their views on the special partnership structure sought by Alibaba in its earlier proposed Hong Kong listing, and whether they would discount both Alibaba and the Hong Kong market if non-standard shareholding structures (NSSS) became common.

Survey respondents included 54 of ACGA's institutional investor members with combined assets under management globally of more than US$14 trillion. The main findings were:

  • Overwhelming opposition to dual classes of shares and the proposed Alibaba partnership structure.
  • Investors would likely apply a significant discount (average of 19%) to Alibaba if it listed with its special partnership structure.
  • Investors would also likely apply a significant discount to the Hong Kong market (average of more than 13%) if non-standard shareholding structures became common.
  • Allowing corporate governance exemptions under the Listing Rules for so-called "innovative companies" would set a bad precedent and undermine investor protection.