Alibaba’s Movie Unit Joins Share-Sale Fever

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Count billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd. among the growing number of companies in the Greater China region seeking to raise money through the stock market to take advantage of surging prices.

The unit of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. on Thursday said it plans to raise HK$12.2 billion ($1.6 billion) by selling new shares in Hong Kong to help finance potential acquisitions. The sale of 4.2 billion shares will boost outstanding stock by 20 percent -- diluting existing ones -- leading the shares to fall 5.8 percent in Hong Kong trading today.

Alibaba’s latest deal pushes up the amount of share sales, excluding IPOs, announced in Hong Kong this year to $23.6 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In mainland China, the stock-market rally has spurred a frenzy of share sales with more than 380 companies announcing deals exceeding $130 billion in 2015.

It’s been a particularly lucrative year for holders of the the movie company. Alibaba Pictures has surged 145 percent this year, while the Hang Seng Composite Index has gained 18 percent.

Separately, electric-carmaker BYD Co. said on Wednesday that it plans to raise as much as 15 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) selling new shares in China, sending its stock surging by the 10 percent daily limit in Shenzhen. Other companies that have announced share sales this week in China and Hong Kong include Kingsoft Corp., Zhongrun Resources Investment Corp. and CPT Technology Group Co.

And those exclude initial public offerings, a market that’s just as hot if not hotter. For example, China National Nuclear Power Co.’s plan to raise $2 billion drew total bids for an amount almost equaling the entire annual economic output of Hong Kong.

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