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UPDATE 1-Alibaba sets initial price guidance on $5 bln bond offering - term sheet

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HONG KONG, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Thursday set in motion its $5 billion U.S. dollar bond deal by announcing the initial price guidance in a marketing term sheet reviewed by Reuters.

Alibaba flagged a price range of 130 basis points over U.S. 10-year Treasuries for the 10-year tranche and 140 basis points over U.S. 20-year Treasuries for the 20-year tranche.

It is selling the debt in four tranches which also includes 30 and 40-year bonds, the term sheet showed.

Investor response to the deal will test sentiment towards Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s business empire amid regulatory scrutiny triggered by a speech in late October that publicly criticised the country’s regulatory system.

That set off a chain of events that resulted in the halting of affiliate Ant Group’s $37 billion stock market listing.

A final price for the bonds is expected to be set later on Thursday, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter who is not authorised to speak to the media.

Reporting by Scott Murdoch; Writing by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Tom Hogue and Christian Schmollinger

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