The Chinese company Alibaba started trading on the New York Stock Exchange Friday after the biggest initial public offering in human history. Investors on Wall Street have totally fallen in love with Alibaba. They see huge potential in the commerce industry in China.
At its opening price of $92.70 a share — representing an immediate 36 percent windfall for insiders who got the stock at its $68 IPO price — the e-commerce giant was worth about $228 billion, or more than Facebook, finance blogger/conspiracy theorist Zerohedge tweeted:
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 19, 2014
The stock briefly shot to $99 a share, which made it bigger than Walmart:
The stock ended trading at $93.89 a share, a 38 percent gain, giving it a valuation of $231.4 billion, leaving it just below Chevron and just above Procter & Gamble in terms of market value. Facebook was worth a mere $202 billion.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma, meanwhile, ended the day with a stake in the company worth about $18 billion, making him easily the richest man in China. That’s not to mention the $867 million he made selling shares in the IPO.
Unless you happen to own stock in Alibaba — and please consult this helpful flowchart before you buy any — this story will have no meaningful impact on your life. That is, not until Alibaba, which is sort of like Amazon.com except with 40 other companies bolted-on, fully takes over the Internet.