After delay, Ant Group’s gargantuan IPO set for early November

Business & Technology

Alibaba affiliate Ant Group offers financial services to an enormous population that had previously been neglected by China’s banks, and now the company is set to list in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The reception desk of Ant Group, previously called Ant Financial, in Hangzhou in 2018. REUTERS/Shu Zhang.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange has approved the dual listing of Alibaba’s fintech offshoot, Ant Group, in Hong Kong and on Shanghai’s STAR market. Ant Group offers algorithm-based financial services, including mobile payments and loans to Chinese consumers. The news comes after last week’s reported delay due to regulator scrutiny.

The delay had caused speculation “that Ant’s IPO was running into roadblocks,” according to Bloomberg.

  • Ant Group’s mobile payment service, Alipay, has more than 55% of the market in China. Its money market fund Yu’e Bao was once the world’s largest. And parent company Alibaba already dominates several sectors of China’s economy.
  • So it’s understandable that regulators might want to take some extra time to look at the company’s operations.

Ant Group’s IPO could be the world’s largest, according to Reuters, “surpassing the record set by oil giant Saudi Aramco’s $29.4 billion float last December.”

  • Ant “looks to increase its offering size to $35 billion from up to $30 billion, targeting a valuation of about $250 billion or more,” says Reuters.
  • The STAR market approved the Shanghai listing about a month ago. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) seems likely to give final approval for the dual listing this week.
  • Ant shares will probably start trading within a week of the November 3 U.S. presidential election, according to sources cited by Reuters.