Alibaba shares close 38 percent above initial asking price on NYSE

AlibabaLondon, Sep 20 - Chinese Internet giant Alibaba's shares closed significantly above their initial price on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Friday, ending 38 percent above their initial asking price.

Shares in the company made their debut in the US at 92.70 dollars, after being priced at 68 dollars late on Thursday. They ended at 93.89 dollars, 38 percent above the initial asking price.

More than 100 million shares were traded in the minutes after the stock was launched, more than Twitter. Earlier in the day, founder and chairman Jack Ma rang the opening bell, The BBC reported.

The NYSE was festooned with Alibaba's orange and white logos to herald its arrival on public markets. The company raised nearly 21.8 billion dollars in its share sale, indicating strong investor appetite for China's e-commerce giant.

Alibaba is now valued at 231.4 billion dollars, making it significantly larger than Amazon and Facebook. If the Chinese giants' bankers decide to take up an option in which they can purchase 48 million shares themselves, then Alibaba's launch will have raised nearly 25 billion dollars, breaking the previous 22.1 billion dollars record set by China's Agricultural Bank in 2010.

Currently Alibaba's single largest shareholder is Japan's Softbank, which holds a 32 percent stake. US search giant Yahoo also has a stake, the report added. (ANI)