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Nasdaq Hunting Alibaba After ‘Hundreds’ of Smooth IPOs

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. apps are displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5s in this arranged photograph in Hong Kong, China. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. apps are displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5s in this arranged photograph in Hong Kong, China. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.’s recent successes with initial public offerings should allay any concerns spurred by the exchange’s mishandling of Facebook Inc.’s debut in 2012, Chief Financial Officer Lee Shavel said.

The finance chief, speaking during a Bloomberg Television interview with Trish Regan, spoke as the exchange attempts to win the listing of Hangzhou, China-based Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which is poised to be one of the biggest U.S. IPOs ever.

Following Facebook, Nasdaq last year lost the next major technology IPO, Twitter Inc., to its only U.S. rival for corporate listings, the New York Stock Exchange. This year, Nasdaq scored two large Chinese IPOs: microblogging service Weibo Corp. and retailing website JD.com Inc.

Regarding the software error that blemished Facebook’s debut, Nasdaq is “very confident that all of those issues have been addressed,” Shavel said during yesterday’s interview. “We have executed hundreds of IPOs since then.”

NYSE and Nasdaq are still fighting to win Alibaba’s IPO. The company filed to go public earlier this month. It may raise as much as $20 billion, topping Visa Inc. as the largest U.S. initial share sale, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“We would be thrilled if Alibaba were to choose Nasdaq,” Shavel said yesterday. “We’ve been a great destination for growth-oriented companies. And we’re doing everything we can to make our case” to Alibaba.

Facebook’s first day of trading two years ago was delayed by a software malfunction at Nasdaq, and some investors ended up with more shares than they intended to purchase. Nasdaq was fined $10 million by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the mistake.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nick Baker in Chicago at nbaker7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Nagi at chrisnagi@bloomberg.net Michael P. Regan

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