Alibaba’s Ant Financial seeks $10 billion IPO in Hong Kong

Ant Financial is eyeing a Hong Kong-based initial public offering said to be worth $10 billion.

According to a Hong Kong Economic Times report, Ant Financial has been seeking a public offering for at least two years. While there is no set timetable for this, it has been widely speculated that the offering will be underway by the first half 2017.

Ant Financial has been valued at $60 billion – its parent company Alibaba became the largest ever IPO in US history when it was listed two years ago at a whopping $25 billion.

Ant Financial is the owner of Alipay (the world’s largest online payment company) which endows the company with a user base of over 500 million and almost three quarters of China’s mobile payment market.

The regulatory body in Hong Kong rejected Alibaba's initial proposal which grants some shareholders ‘dual-class shareholder structures’ which gifts some holders more control than others. Hong Kong’s agency noted that this violated its "one share, one vote" rule.

Editor’s comment

While New York may appear as a natural destination for the Ant Financial IPO (given Alibaba’s previous listing) there are still strong reasons for the company to choose Hong Kong. Not least is the physical proximity to the company’s operating markets. 

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SOURCE: [ZD net]


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