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Alibaba leads rally in US-listed China shares on Ant Capital Nod

(Bloomberg) — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd . led an advance in U.S.-listed Chinese stocks on Wednesday, with Ant Group Co.’s approved fundraising plan boosting optimism that China’s regulatory crackdown on the Internet sector is easing.

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Alibaba, which owns a stake in Ant, rose a whopping 7.5%, the most since November. E-commerce companies Inc. and Pinduoduo Inc. both rose more than 6%. The Nasdaq Golden Dragon index rose more than 5%, rising for a second day to its highest level in about four months.

Chinese stocks have rallied at the start of the year on bets that the nation̵[ads1]7;s reopening will eventually boost the economy and corporate profits despite initial disruptions.

Regulators approved a plan by Jack Ma’s Ant to raise 10.5 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) for its consumer unit, clearing a hurdle before the fintech giant restarts its initial public offering in 2020. The news pointed to warmer ties between Chinese government and the country’s biggest technology companies, as officials put economic growth as a top priority.

Adding to the optimism is further potential policy support for the housing sector, a key weak spot in China’s Covid-hit economy. Beijing plans to help shore up the balance sheets of some developers it deemed “systemically important,” according to a Bloomberg report. The authorities also resumed approvals for private equity funds to raise money for residential property development.

With Wednesday’s gains, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, a gauge that tracks major Hong Kong-listed Chinese stocks, closed at its highest level since July. An increase in mobility in some major cities has raised hopes that the number of Covid cases may have peaked, after the highly contagious virus pushed the country’s economic activity to its slowest pace since February 2020.

–With help from Yiqin Shen.

(Updates chart, prices and adds Nasdaq Golden Dragon Index movement in second paragraph)

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