China’s securities regulator has approved fintech company Ant Group’s IPO – and paved the way for what will likely be the world’s biggest-ever listing.
Ant, backed by current title-holder Alibaba, will seek approval from Hong Kong’s stock exchange today (Oct 19), following a green light from the China Securities Regulatory Commission for the Shanghai leg of the IPO, which is expected to take place later this month.
Ant, formerly known as Alipay, plans to raise around $35 billion from the listing, which would make it by far the biggest IPO to date. Alibaba’s 2014 New York listing made the company $21.8bn.
Its value has almost tripled since amid a characteristic flurry of M&A activity. This week Alibaba paid $3.6bn to raise its stake in Hong Kong grocery brand Sun Art to 72%, bolstering the Hangzhou-headquartered behemoth’s presence in offline shopping.