Alibaba.com Ltd., one of China's fastest-growing technology companies, reached its goal of raising $1.5 billion in its initial public offering Saturday, people close to the deal said.
Alibaba, an e-commerce portal, sold 858.9 million shares, or a 17 percent stake, at roughly $1.75 each, a source told Dow Jones Newswires on condition of anonymity.
The shares will debut on the Hong Kong stock market on November 6.
The IPO price translates to a multiple of 55 times its forecast 2008 earnings, above the 34 times price-to-earnings ratio of Nasdaq-listed business-to-business search engine Global Sources Ltd., analysts said earlier. But the ratio is much lower than the 83 times price-to-earnings multiple of Chinese-language Internet-search provider Baidu.com Inc.
The IPO has drawn huge interest in Hong Kong, with the retail tranche of 128.83 million shares more than 250 times oversubscribed by Friday, newspaper reports said.
Alibaba drew $57.7 billion in orders for the retail shares - the largest in the territory's IPO history. The institutional tranche had locked up about $180 billion in subscriptions, The Standard reported, citing unnamed people involved in the deal.
The underwriters have an option to release an additional 113.67 million shares.
Analysts said surging demand for Alibaba and other shares had pushed up the local currency, prompting the monetary authority - Hong Kong's de facto central bank - to step in for the second time in a week to defend its peg to the U.S. dollar.
The monetary authority bought about $100 million on Friday when the U.S. currency reached about $1, the upper limit of the narrow range in which it trades against the greenback.
It sold a similar amount of Hong Kong dollars on Tuesday.
Alibaba Group founder, Jack Ma, has said proceeds from the IPO would be spent on acquisitions and development, designed to grow the company's business both in China and overseas.
Alibaba - whose Web sites allow companies in China and overseas to trade with one another online - is one of China's fastest growing Internet companies. It has seen its registered members soar from 6 million in 2004 to 24.6 million in 2007. Paying members increased from 77,000 in 2004 to 255,000 by June 2007.
Yahoo! Inc., which holds a 39 percent stake in Alibaba's parent, Alibaba Group, had agreed to subscribe to about $100 million worth of shares.
Alibaba said another seven investors had agreed to take a stake, representing about $296 million, or 20 percent of the offering. ( AP )