Ant Group to close IPO to institutions early due to heavy orders

Daniel Fowler
October 27, 2020

The company's much-anticipated IPO is on track to surpass Saudi Aramco's $29 billion sale a year ago.

The affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group plans to list on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges as soon as next week.

Ma's 8.8% stake is worth $27.4 billion based on the stock pricing in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

"This was the first time such a big listing, the largest in human history, was priced outside New York City", billionaire founder Ma told the Bund Summit in Shanghai Saturday.

Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of Ant and affiliate Alibaba, said it was a "miracle" that such a large listing is taking place outside NY. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information.

The institutional order book, which represents 97.5% of the 1.67 billion shares on offer in Hong Kong, already has been multiple times overfilled, with subscriptions coming in from some of the world's largest fund managers, sovereign wealth funds and state investment funds. That's even before it opts to exercise a so-called greenshoe option, which would allow the firm to sell more stocks.

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The fintech also manages a suite of financial services, including personal credit rating tool, Zhima Credit. In 2013, they were given the ability to save money and earn interest on the balances stored on their accounts. "Every bank and securities house and fund manager will have to plug into it, while every consumer, corporate or individual, can not live without it". Hong Kong's Li Ka-shing, the family behind a French supermarket giant, the son of a Taiwanese real estate billionaire and Chinese retail tycoon Shen Guojun are among the other owners who have invested in the company over the year.

Ant has picked China International Capital Corp. and CSC Financial lead its Shanghai leg of the IPO. CICC, Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan. and Morgan Stanley are heading the Hong Kong offering.

Ma has a combined 50.52 percent of Ant's shares through direct and indirect shareholdings.

Ant Group declined to comment on the early closure. Chairman Eric Jing's holding is worth $3.1 billion.

Ant runs Alipay, the dominant online payment system in China, where cash, cheques and credit cards have always been eclipsed by e-payment devices and apps.

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