On Thursday night, Alibaba set the price of its initial public offering at $68 per share, right at the top end of the initial price range. At this price Alibaba raised $21.8 billion, making the company's long-awaited IPO the largest in U.S. stock market history. Excluding over-allotment options, the record had previously been held by VISA, which had raised $17.9 billion in March 2008.
Should Alibaba's underwriters exercise their option to sell additional shares, the company could raise as much as $25 billion, which would make today's IPO the largest ever worldwide. The previous record had been set by the Agricultural Bank of China in 2010, which raised $22.1 billion in its initial public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong in 2010.