Asia Pacific: HK’s race to the bottom

Author: | Published: 24 Mar 2014

Alibaba has announced that it will list in the US, concluding speculation over whether New York or Hong Kong would host what's expected to be 2014's biggest initial public offering (IPO).

It's thought that Alibaba decided against Hong Kong because its listing rules prohibit unconventional shareholding schemes such as the company's partnership structure.

But urging a review of Hong Kong's listing rules to permit non-traditional structures ignores signals that it simply isn't ready for them.

The argument that the city-state needs these structures to remain competitive with the US (which allows dual-class structures and other schemes) ignores the...