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A fascinating op-ed from Singapore’s Straits Times, looking at the strategic options for the mighty Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba following its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The IPO is expected to raise an astonishing US$43bn for the company – of the world’s largest non-financial corporations, only Apple has more cash on its books. However, the writer asks whether this is a gift or a curse? “Then you realise that management literally has more money than it knows what to do with. Chief executive officer Daniel Zhang and Maggie Wu, the chief financial officer, have three choices: do nothing, just sit on that cash in a low-interest-rate world; spend it on acquisitions and marketing, [although] historically, this has depressed margins; give it back [through] dividends, maybe, but more likely, buybacks.”

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