* Shares fall 9.7 pct after Yahoo sells stake worth $147 mln
* Shares have almost quadrupled in value so far this year
* Potential Alibaba Group stake sale more challenging-Goldman
HONG KONG/SHANGHAI, Sept 15 Shares in Alibaba.com
1688.HK fell as much as 9.7 percent on Tuesday after Yahoo! Inc
sold its 1 percent direct holding in China's top e-commerce
company, a week after Alibaba's chairman sold a stake in the
Yahoo (YHOO.O) still holds 40 percent of unlisted parent
Alibaba Group, which controls about 74 percent of Alibaba.com,
and said the investment was an important, long-term way to
participate in the China market. [ID:nN14479570]
Yahoo said the sale was driven by a big rise in the stake's
value, with Hong Kong-listed Alibaba's share price nearly
quadrupling this year.
Analysts said Yahoo's stake sale did not suggest weakness in
"At Alibaba.com's Alifest last week, they (management) were
quite bullish on the outlook as well so I think Alibaba.com
growth will still be strong," said JP Morgan analyst Dick Wei.
Alibaba shares extended losses and were down 9.7 percent at
HK$19.10 after falling about 9 percent shortly after the market
opened on Tuesday afternoon, while the broader market .HSI had
edged up 0.3 percent.
The market was closed in the morning because of a tropical
Jack Ma, Alibaba's chairman and founder, sold 13 million
shares, or less than 5 percent of his total direct and indirect
holdings, in the company for $35 million last week.
The share sale by Ma, one of the best known figures in
Chinese Internet circles, was his first of shares in the company
he founded 10 years ago. [ID:nHKG122553]
Goldman Sachs said that although Monday's deal might signal
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz's willingness to divest more of Yahoo's $13
billion stake in unconsolidated Asia holdings, it would view
potentially selling its stakes in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba Group
as more challenging because of their substantially larger size
and greater tax implications.
"The Chinese government and Alibaba Group management could
require pre-approving potential buyers of the Alibaba Group
stake, limiting the potential investor base and thus the
valuation," Goldman said in a note.
Yahoo sold all of its 57.5 million shares in Alibaba for
HK$1.14 billion ($147 million), or at HK$19.80 each, representing
a 6.4 percent discount to the stock's close on Monday, a source
close to the deal said on Tuesday.
Yahoo is a cornerstone investor, and as a group owns 157.8
million shares or 3.13 percent of the company, according to JP
Yahoo bought Alibaba shares at HK$13.50 and is expected to
make a profit of about $50 million before tax, Goldman Sachs
(Reporting by Alison Leung, Melanie Lee and Alison Liu; Editing
by Anshuman Daga)