The world’s financial centers are fighting each other for the right to host Alibaba Group’s initial public offering (IPO).
There’s no date set yet, although it is widely expected to happen in the first quarter of 2014. There are no documents that investors can pore over. There isn’t even final word that it’s going to happen.
But China’s biggest e-commerce site—a privately-held Chinese-language combo ofAmazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), eBay(NASDAQ:EBAY), PayPal and more all rolled into one—is interested in selling shares on an exchange outside mainland China, and everybody wants the listing.
Just by doing nothing since 1995, Yahoo(NASDAQ:YHOO) has managed to hang onto 24% of the Chinese company. By the terms of its current agreement, it will be required to sell much of its stake when and if Alibaba goes public.