Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's (BABA.N) shares soared 38 percent in their first day of trading on Friday as investors jumped at the chance for a piece of what is likely to rank as the largest IPO in history, in a massive bet on China's burgeoning middle class. It was an auspicious debut for the Chinese e-commerce company, which was founded by Jack Ma in his apartment in 1999 and now accounts for 80 percent of online sales in China. About 100 people gathered outside the New York Stock Exchange at Wall and Broad Streets, many of them Chinese tourists with cameras, and they cheered and snapped photos when Ma exited the building with the kung fu star Jet Li. Some 271 million shares changed hands, more than double the turnover on Twitter Inc's (TWTR.N) first day last year, although still short of volume for the General Motors Co (GM.N) and Facebook Inc (FB.O) IPOs.
Alibaba (BABA.N) took the spotlight after its initial public offering priced at $68 a share and rose as high as $99.70 before ending the session up 38 percent to $93.89. Shares of Yahoo (YHOO.O), which is selling part of its Alibaba stake but will remain a top shareholder, were volatile in heavy volume and closed down 2.7 percent at $40.93. "Alibaba was awesome. The Alibaba deal was done correctly, which is, you leave something on the table for investors to enjoy," said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors in New York.
If Larry Ellison sailed off on his yacht for good tomorrow, who would really run Oracle Corp (ORCL.N)? Reuters asked a cast of Wall Streets analysts, and the verdict is dealmaker and finance guru Safra Catz. The question is on investors' minds after Ellison, 70, promoted both Catz and sales leader Mark Hurd to the CEO position on Thursday, while taking on the role of executive chairman and chief technology officer himself. Of 12 analysts who replied to an anonymous poll, five said Catz would likely run Oracle, while only one voted for Hurd, 57.