Jack Ma’s Ant seeks to raise $35 billion in biggest-ever IPO

Jack Ma at a conference in Hangzhou in 2019

The long-anticipated IPO of Alibaba-affiliated Chinese fintech giant Ant Group could raise tens of billions of dollars in a dual-listing on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges.

The listing could be the world's largest initial public offering, surpassing the record set by Saudi Aramco's $29.4 billion float last December.

Many of them have bid for the Ant shares for the domestic listing at the Nasdaq-style STAR Market in Shanghai at close to 69 yuan ($10.32) apiece, one source said. That would be more than JPMorgan Chase & Co. and four times bigger than Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

It is the first time pricing of the initial public offering, which sources have said could be a world record $35 billion, has been determined outside NY, he told the Bund Summit in the eastern financial hub of Shanghai. The company may raise another $5.17 billion if it exercises its greenshoe options.

The company will raise about $34.5 billion from the share offering, which is expected to surpass oil company Saudi Aramco's $29 billion share sale a year ago, making Ant Group's offering the biggest in the world.

This is "a homecoming for capital markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong", said existing investor John Ho, founder of Janchor Partners.

Ant began when Alibaba launched the Alipay payments app in 2004 as an escrow service for buyers and sellers on Ma's e-commerce website. The Hong Kong listing day will be on November 5., only two days after the USA vote, an event that could spark market volatility if the vote is disputed or counting delayed. It will issue the same amount for the Hong Kong offering, or about 3.3 billion shares in total.

Chinese financial technology giant Ant Group looks set to make the world's largest stock market debut.



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