Harriet Lefton

About the Author Harriet Lefton

Harriet originates from the UK where she worked as a journalist specializing in the metal markets. She graduated from the University of Cambridge before becoming a qualified UK lawyer.

Alibaba (BABA) Expands Into Australia’s ‘Gold Mine’

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) opened new headquarters in Melbourne on Feb 6- its first office in the region- as the company further expands its growing international operations.

The new headquarters will help support the 1,300 Australian and 400 New Zealand businesses selling on Alibaba’s online retail platforms, Tmall and Tmall Global, and should also encourage new merchants to use the platforms.

“Alibaba Group’s vision for the ANZ region is to build the entire operating infrastructure needed to enable local businesses to expand globally,” Maggie Zhou, the group’s Australian and New Zealand Managing Director, said.  This includes Alibaba’s successful cloud business and its online payment services.

At the launch, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma said that Australia’s clean environment is its next “gold mine”. The environment “is the most unique asset” for Australia and New Zealand said Ma who drew a comparison to China’s pollution problems: “we’ve got a terrible polluted environment and a lot of things we have to import.”

Alibaba has already made some moves in the region as it opened a data center in Sydney last year while its b-2-b website has been active in Australia since 1999.

Top RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney recently reiterated his buy rating for Alibaba with a $120 price target. He is very confident about the outlook for BABA, partly because “we see BABA as having significant option value from non-retail/platform revenue streams in China, possibly international expansion & a series of major strategic investments.”

The analyst consensus rating for BABA on TipRanks is very bullish. As the screenshot below reveals, in the last 3 months there have been 15 buy ratings, 1 hold rating and no sell ratings. Furthermore, the average analyst price target of $121.53 suggests a potential upside from the current share price of 20.45%.

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