The Swiss bank is one of six underwriting Alibaba's initial public offering in New York, but the money it receives in fees would be doubled by the return from bonds. According to the Financial Times, should Alibaba float at $121bn – a conservative estimate according to some analysts – Credit Suisse would earn around $66m in fees and net another $68m from the investment it made during an earlier funding round.
Founded by chairman Jack Ma 15 years ago in his Guangzhou apartment, Alibaba has expanded from trading portals – Chinese equivalents of Amazon and eBay – to a network of ecommerce sites. Last week it became the owner of the city's championship-winning football team.
Ma now owns 8.9% of the shares, with SoftBank, the Japanese telecoms group, holding 35% and Yahoo holding 22%.
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