by Jim Woods | July 1, 2014 7:59 am
China’s behemoth e-commerce firm Alibaba is almost certainly going to be the biggest IPO ever.
At a top-end valuation estimate near $250 billion, This fire-breathing dragon of an IPO will, in my opinion, be a watershed moment for the global economy and the emerging dominance of China as the new fount of capitalist wealth creation.
Although Wall Street and typically vacations in August, Chinese superstition over a lucky number may influence any decision about the Alibaba IPO date, at least you never know with Jack Ma in charge.
At the heart of this wealth creation is an intriguing Chinese entrepreneur named Jack Ma.
Ma, along with his partner Joe Tsai, co-founded Alibaba more than a decade-and-a-half ago, and together they’ve built the company into the transformative entity that now sells an estimated 60% of all goods sold online in China.
Think of Alibaba as a corporate superhero that combines the powers of Amazon.com (AMZN), Walmart (WMT) and many of the world’s top-brand retailers. Together, these powers have elevated Ma, Tsai and Alibaba to folklore status in China, and deservedly so.
For example, Ma is a passionate advocate and practitioner of the mystically oriented martial art tai chi. According to one media report, Alibaba offers weekly tai chi classes for its current employees. But while that sounds like something you might find at any progressive, well-heeled tech company with an interest in employee health, considering this: Alibaba also reportedly considers a prospective employee’s tai chi skills when looking to fill a position at Alibaba.
However, the latest nod to superstition, mysticism and the Chinese penchant for numerical good luck charms could actually affect the Alibaba IPO date.
Recent rumors have been circulating that the Alibaba IPO will debut trading publicly on Aug. 8, or “8-8.”
But why 8-8, and why do Jack Ma and Joe Tsai — according to Bloomberg reports — both view both view an 8-8 trading debut as a lucky date for the Alibaba IPO?
For one, the number eight in China is associated with wealth and fortune. Moreover, the word “ba” in Chinese also can be translated to “eight,” and the company is said to prefer the ticker symbol “BABA” when it begins trading, again nodding to “eight eight.”
Thus, it should come as little surprise that Ali-”baba,” or “eight eight,” is rumored to want the company to officially go public on “8-8.”
Interestingly, if the Alibaba IPO does debut on 8-8, it wouldn’t be the first time the auspicious date was selected for a high-profile Chinese coming-out party. The 2008 Summer Olympic games began in Beijing on Aug. 8 … and at 8:08:08 p.m., no less.
Coincidence? I think not.
If you are hot on getting in on the Alibaba IPO when it makes its potentially record-breaking debut on the NYSE, there’s nothing official yet … but go ahead and pencil in Aug. 8 on your calendar anyway.
If shares surge on what is thought to be an auspicious date, and you have found a way to get access, then your portfolio will be the lucky winner.
As of this writing, Jim Woods did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Ironically, his date of birth is Aug. 8.
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