Jack Ma's Ant Group set for record $34bn stock market listing

Andrew Cummings
October 26, 2020

Alibaba-affiliated Ant Group, which operates a suite of financial products including the widely-used Alipay digital wallet in China and one of the world's largest money market funds, will hold dual listings in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Chinese tech firms, including NetEase and JD.Com, have already raised billions by selling their shares through the Hong Kong stock market.

Ant's valuation based on the pricing will be $313.37 billion, larger than some of the biggest banks in the US, including Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo.

In the preliminary price consultation of its Shanghai IPO, institutional investors subscribed for over 76 billion shares, or over 284 times of the initial offline offering tranche, according to Ant's A share offering announcement. He commented on the pricing while speaking at the Second Bund Summit in Shanghai on Saturday. "We wouldn't have dared to think about it five years, or even three years ago". The dual listing, which could be worth $35 billion, according to a Reuters report, would be a world record beating the $29.4 billion float by Saudi Aramco in December 2019. Hong Kong's Li Ka-shing, the family behind a French supermarket giant, the son of a Taiwanese real estate billionaire and Chinese retail tycoon Shen Guojun are among the other owners who have invested in the company over the year.

For the Hong Kong leg, Ant plans to open order books as soon as Monday and price the offering in coming days, separate sources have said.

The company will issue no more than 1.67 billion shares in China, equivalent to 5.5% of the total outstanding before the greenshoe, according to its prospectus on the Shanghai stock exchange. Its shares are likely to start trading a few days after the November 3 USA presidential election, sources have said.

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