China’s Fintech Giant Ant Group Wins Approval From Top Securities Regulator for HK IPO

(Source: Ant Group)

Chinese fintech giant Ant Group has won approval from China’s securities regulator for its initial public offering in Hong Kong, local news reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Ant, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, plans to seek listing approval from Hong Kong’s stock exchange on Monday and the Hong Kong stock exchange is expected to consider the Ant listing at a hearing later.

The dual listing of Ant in both Shanghai and Hong Kong is expected to be one of the biggest offerings ever. Analysts have estimated that Ant group’s IPO fundraising scale may be worth about $35 billion, surpassing the record set by Saudi Aramco’s $29.4 billion IPO last year.

In September, Hangzhou-based Ant, the parent company of China’s largest digital payment platform, Alipay, won approval from the Shanghai Stock Exchange STAR Market after applying for a dual listing in August, but has been waiting for the reply from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

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The sponsors of Ant’s Hong Kong share sale are Citigroup, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and China International Capital Corporation (CICC), according to the prospectus that Ant lodged with the Hong Kong stock exchange. CICC and China Securities will handle the Shanghai leg of the IPO.