Internew giant Alibaba.com has waived restrictions on its eight largest investors requiring them to hold onto their shares until November 6 this year, the Wall Street Journal reported. Alibaba CFO Maggie Wu said the decision was made in order to increase the liquidity of the company’s shares and encourage interest from other institutional investors, not in response to requests from current investors. "It is a very nice surprise for them," she said. The release from the lockup agreement took formal effect on Thursday night. The 157 million unlocked shares represent 3.13% of Alibaba’s issued share capital, presently valued around US$285.3 million based on Thursday’s closing price of HK$14.02 (US$1.81). Alibaba shares have struggled late last year due to concerns that the plight small exporters, a significant part of its customer base, would be passed on to Alibaba’s profitability. However, investors were reassured by changes made to the company’s business model and its share price has recovered in recent months.
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