Although the market is still waiting for news on Alibaba, there are signs of life in the initial public offering (IPO) market, where pricings this year have consistently fallen short of expectations.
We are hopeful that we may get more details on Alibaba's offering in the next couple weeks, specifically more granularity on revenues, and a better valuation on the many joint ventures they have. Analysts will need that—and more—to get a better sense of its growth rate and profit, and to put a multiple on the total business. What I want to know is where will they be listing: the NASDAQ or the NYSE? Neither one has said a peep about the listing.
However, I can tell you that the exchanges were in China last week pitching their causes!
In theory, Alibaba doesn't have to name an exchange until they are ready to set terms and launch. As I have said before, they are unlikely to announce terms before mid-July, and unlikely to go public before late-July or early August.
Speaking of the IPO market, there are some signs of life. First, the , after dropping about 8 percent from its 14-year high from March to mid-April, has bounced back. To date, it's recovered nearly half its losses.
Second, the Renaissance Capital IPO fund, a basket of roughly 60 recent IPOs, has bounced strongly in the last week and a half, after dropping more than 10 percent from March into early May.
Thirdly, last week was a busy one for IPO filings, as 13 companies filed to go public, according to Renaissance Capital. Among the most recent issues, Parsley Energy (PE) was up 30 percent on Friday. SunEdison was up 19.6 percent.
In the not good news column: JD.com dropped to $20.10 on Friday. Although that is still above the $19 initial price, it closed at $20.90 on Thursday, after trading as high as $22.80 intraday. Bottom line: no follow-through on these Chinese IPOs after the first day.
Not much on the IPO calendar this week, other than the delayed issuance of California bank First Foundation, which may try to price tonight.
Euronext's IPO details were announced. Intercontinental Exchange is making good on its promise to move ahead with its flotation of its Euronext operations. They have said they would like the IPO to occur this quarter.
Today ICE announced they will sell roughly a third of Euronext shares to institutional investors, at a predetermined price ahead of the IPO. That list includes BNP Paribas, ABN Amro, and other European investors. All have agreed to hold their shares for at least three years.
ICE will continue to hold an undisclosed part of Euronext after the IPO. ICE will also continue to own the NYSE Liffe futures business.
Euronext consists largely of the stock exchanges in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon. Shares will list on the first three exchanges, then eventually on the Lisbon as well.
--By CNBC's Bob Pisani