Business & Economy

Alibaba’s Ant Group to raise $34.5 billion in world’s biggest IPO

Beijing, Oct 26 (efe-epa).- Ant Group, the financial tech subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, expects to raise at least $34.5 billion through its upcoming listing at the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges for the biggest initial public offering in the world.

The company said in a series of statements that it would issue 1.67 billion shares priced at 68.8 yuan ($10.27) at the Shanghai stock exchange and release the same number of stocks, priced at HK$80 ($10.32), at the Hong Kong market.

Ant’s IPO is all set to exceed that of Saudi oil giant Aramco, which was floated at the Riyadh stock market in December 2019 for around $25.6 billion, the biggest IPO so far.

The group’s listing at the Shanghai market could fetch at least around 114.9 billion yuan ($17.15 billion), while the Hong Kong IPO will raise at least around HK$133.6 billion ($17.24 billion).

The company could even raise to $5.2 billion if its shareholders exercise the option to buy an additional 15 percent shares as part of a greenshoe clause.

The Ant Group last week received approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission to have its shares listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s STAR market, dubbed the Chinese Nasdaq.

The simultaneous listing at both the stock markets, something which no other private company had done so far, could result in Ant’s total value rising to $380-$460 billion, according to an Alibaba statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange last week.

Ant Group, founded in 2014 and formerly known as Ant Financial, intends to use the funds it raises through the IPO to expand its user base and digital services, as well as to develop other services such as cross-border payments.

The operating income of the company, which has developed its digital payment platform Alipay, reached 118.19 billion yuan ($17.74 billion) between January and September, a year-on-year increase of 42.56 percent.

Alibaba has held a 33 percent stake in Ant Financial since September 2019. Until then, the fintech arm paid 37.5 percent of its pre-tax profits to the parent company as a fee. EFE-EPA


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