The biggest IPO of the year had a disappointing start (ZTO)

zto express pile packages scatteredEmployees work at a sorting centre of Zhongtong (ZTO) Express ahead of the Singles Day shopping festival, Chaoyang District, Beijing.Jason Lee/Reuters

The biggest initial public offering of the year was followed by a disappointing trading debut on Thursday.

Shares of Chinese package delivery company ZTO Express opened below the IPO price of $19.50, and ended the session down 15% at $16.57.

The company raised $1.4 billion at its IPO as early backers sought to cash in on China’s booming online-shopping industry. Alibaba is one of ZTO’s biggest clients.

On Thursday, the shares were indicated to open at $20-$22 a share. ZTO priced 72.1 million shares at $19.50 a share, above its previously indicated range of $16.50 to $18.50 a share.

The stock market debut, the biggest by a Chinese company since the $25 billion IPO of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in 2014, gave the Shanghai-based company a market value of more than $12 billion.

The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trades with the ticker symbol ZTO.

(Reuters reporting by Lauren Hirsch; Editing by Bill Rigby)

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