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Alibaba picks New York Stock Exchange for U.S. IPO

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has decided to list on the New York Stock Exchange, it said on Thursday, dealing a blow to the rival Nasdaq bourse.

Alibaba, which handles more than 80 percent of online retail transactions in the world's second-largest economy, will list under the symbol "BABA," the company said in an updated initial public offering prospectus.

The Chinese company is expected to make its debut this summer in what could be the largest U.S. tech IPO. It is expected to eclipse Facebook Inc's $15 billion initial share sale in 2012.

Alibaba would be the largest Chinese company to list on U.S. exchanges by far, with an estimated valuation north of $200 billion. Securing its debut marks a major victory for the New York Stock Exchange, which was acquired by IntercontinentalExchange Inc for $11 billion in November.

“We participated in a comprehensive and deliberate exchange selection process and we are pleased to welcome Alibaba Group to the New York Stock Exchange,” an NYSE spokesman said.

The two U.S. exchanges compete fiercely for new listings. Nasdaq had easily scored the most tech IPOs every year from 1999 until 2012, when NYSE pulled even, according to Thomson Reuters data. The NYSE pulled ahead last year, and it won the most coveted tech debut of the year, Twitter Inc. The reversal has been attributed partly to Nasdaq's high-profile bungling of Facebook's market debut in 2012, and partly to changes NYSE made to its listing standards in 2008 to make it easier for smaller, growing companies to qualify.

Nasdaq, meanwhile, has made inroads against NYSE on blue-chip listings, with wins in recent years such as Kraft Foods and Texas Instruments Inc.

The NYSE however led the Nasdaq in terms of overall listings in the first half of this year, the busiest period for stock debuts since 2011, accounting for $19.8 billion in total IPO proceeds, 61 percent of all U.S. IPO fund-raisings.

(Reporting by San Francisco Newsroom and John McCrank in New York; Editing by James Dalgleish and Lisa Von Ahn)

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