Ant Financial all set for IPO as Alibaba’s Q3 records released
Alibaba has announced it will acquire a 33% stake in its finance affiliate, Ant Financial Services.
The company will buy new shares in Ant Financial in exchange for intellectual property rights, with no monetary value, which means Ant can now be listed publicly. The move has prompted many to speculate an IPO is in the offing.
Ant Financial started in 2014 and is the financial affiliate for Alibaba, encompassing e-payment service Alipay, online bank MYBanks, credit scoring service Sesame Credit, lending service Zhao Cai Bao, mass-market investment service Ant Fortune and money market fund YU’e Bao.
In a conference call, Alibaba’s Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai Chung-hsin said: “Equity ownership allows us to participate in the long-term value creation of Ant Financial as opposed to the quarter-to-quarter fluctuations of a profit share”.
This comes as detailed figures have been released on Alibaba’s 2017 Q3 results, for which is reported $23.3bn in net profit. This is a 36% rise year-on-year but has been the slowest for three quarters.
Profits have been hit by logistics venture Cainiao which made losses, as well as heavy investments in retail and content for digital platforms.
However Alibaba has seen revenue double year-on-year for specific services including a 104% increase in revenue for Alibaba Cloud and a 93% total increase for its international e-commerce business which includes AliExpress and Lazada.