Billionaire entrepreneur Jack Ma’s Ant Group plans to go public in Hong Kong and Shanghai The company’s valuation is estimated to be more than $225 billion.
In a first of its kind, a simultaneous dual listing in Hong Kong and on the Shanghai stock exchange is on the cards. Ant is the flagship of the Alibaba empire and in recent times has diversified into a large number of sectors, from loans to food delivery and travel services.
The IPO of the Ant Group promises to be a record-breaking deal. On Wall Street, it is already much ahead of the top valued firms, and if this IPO is successful, it will raise more than the previous record held by Saudi Aramco’s $29 billion.
People in the know say that the share sales could raise $30 billion, provided the markets are favorable. The world is going through recessionary times, and it will require a very positive climate to achieve what Ant is hoping for. Nothing concrete has emerged as yet since the matter is private, but the grapevine has it that the IPO could be as early as October. It is still early days yet to predict accurate outcomes.
The matter came to light after Ant applied for an overseas listing on Friday with the China Securities Regulatory Commission. When the listing does go through, it will be a huge boost for the Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. In recent times it had seen a growth in listings of Chinese tech companies after a slump when top Chinese tech firms left for the New York stock exchange.
Alibaba, with a third of stake in Ant, reversed the flow to some extent when it returned to Hong Kong with a secondary listing of $13 billion last year.
The listing of Ant simultaneously in Hong Kong, as well as the Shanghai stock exchanges, is a reflection of the geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing. A few days back, U.S. regulators had passed resolutions that set in place new rules that could trigger the delisting of Chinese firms from the stock exchanges. Now, it is mandatory for Chinese firms to grant access to their audit work to regulators if they want to continue to trade on a U.S. exchange.
The Ant group listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges is a feather in the cap for the Chinese administration.