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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 09:16 GMT
Alibaba shares soar on HK debut
Jack Ma (left) from Alibaba and John Chambers from Cisco
Most of Cisco's new investments will be through partnerships
Shares in the Chinese online trading platform Alibaba almost tripled in value on their debut in Hong Kong.

The sale of 17% of its shares raised 715m at a sale price of 13.5 Hong Kong dollars (83 pence) per share.

The shares ended their first day at HK$39.50, which values the company at more than 300 times its predicted earnings for 2007.

That looks expensive, even by the standards of internet stocks - Google trades at 46 times earnings.

Auction site eBay trades at 24 times earnings and even Chinese search engine Baidu is only 170 times earnings.

"The price set is reasonable," said Alibaba's founder and chairman Jack Ma.

"I said it two weeks ago and today's performance has proved me right," he added.

Alibaba, an online business-to-business marketplace, was founded in 1999.

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