Alibaba Group’s Fintech Firm, Ant Group, Gets Approval from Chinese Authorities for Registration of its Shanghai Initial Public Offering (IPO)

Ant Group, which was previously known as Ant Financial, the world’s most valuable Fintech firm and a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA), has reportedly received approval from China’s top securities regulator for the registration of its Shanghai offering.

As reported by Reuters, the Ant Group has managed to clear its final regulatory hurdle or requirement for its $35 billion concurrent IPO listing. Ant Group is planning to list simultaneously in Shanghai and Hong Kong in the coming weeks, according to sources familiar with the matter.

As reported, the listing might potentially be the largest initial public offering (IPO) ever conducted. It could even surpass the current all-time record set by Saudi Arabia’s massive $29.4 billion Aramco IPO that was carried out in December 2019. Ant Group’s planned IPO will also be the first concurrent listing in Hong Kong and on the new STAR Market in Shanghai.

Ant Group will be carrying out price consultations for the Shanghai offering on October 23, 2020. The company confirmed that it would be setting the price on October 26, 2020 as per its prospectus that has been submitted to the local exchange.

The Fintech firm is reportedly planning to split the share offering between Shanghai and Hong Kong. Ant may sell as much as 1.67 billion on each exchange. This could represent as much as 11% of its enlarged share capital, which would be before a 15% over-allotment option is applied, the prospectus revealed.

Investors whose investments in Ant Group’s STAR IPO will be locked up for a year will reportedly make up for 80% of the Fintech firm’s domestic float. These investors include Zhejiang Tmall Technology, which is owned by the Alibaba Group. The company has agreed to acquire 730 million shares.

This particular share purchase plan has been revealed soon after the China Securities Regulatory Commission confirmed that it had accepted the registration of Ant Group’s [IPO-ANTG.HK] float on the STAR Market. The company had submitted its initial prospectus in August of this year.

Proceeds from the sale may support Ant Group’s digital services business and may also be used for improving its research and development activities.

Ant Group is the largest mobile payments service provider in China. The Fintech firm generated  118.2 billion yuan (appr. $17.8 billion) in operating income during the nine-months ending in September 2020. This represents a 42.6% from last year. Ant’s 9-month gross profit surged by nearly 75% to 69.5 billion yuan.

As reported on October 19, 2020, Ant Group has also received approval from Chinese regulatory authorities for the Hong Kong leg of its planned initial public offering (IPO).

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