Alibaba.com confirmed expectations by staging the biggest ever share offering by a Chinese internet company, raising US$1.5 billion in Hong Kong, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to a person familiar with the situation, the business-to-business arm of Alibaba Group sold 858.9 million shares at HK$13.50 (US$1.74) each. The initial public offering was heavily subscribed, with institutional investors placing over US$150 billion in orders and retail investors about US$58.5 billion. Yahoo, which holds a 39% stake in Alibaba Group, has subscribed to about US$100 million in shares. Seven other cornerstone investors – all of whom agreed to a two-year lockup period – subscribed to a further US$200 million in shares. The pricing of the IPO values Alibaba.com at 55 times 2008 projected earnings, well above the 34 times price-to-earnings ratio of its NASDAQ-listed rival Global Sources. It will begin trading on November 6.