Ant Financial denies HK public float reports

Business | 9 Jul 2020 11:48 am

Alibaba's financial division Ant Financial has denied some overseas reports that it would seek a listing on the Hong Kong stock market this year, China's state media reported.

"It's not true," a PR representative of Ant Financial told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Reuters reported that Ant Financial plans a Hong Kong floatation this year and is targeting a valuation of more than US$200 billion, citing two sources with knowledge of the matter.

According to the report, the company has been looking to sell shares in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland simultaneously, but it is "now leaning heavily toward" Hong Kong as the listing process would be smoother in Hong Kong. 

Similar rumors circulated on media websites earlier this year that Ant Financial was eyeing a dual listing in Hong Kong and the mainland. Ant Financial clarified in January that the rumors are not true.

Zhang Yi, chief executive of Shenzhen-based iiMedia Research, said that such an IPO could be possible, but it is not the right time for Ant Financial to disclose details or a timetable to the public. 

"If Ant Financial is planning an IPO, the chances are above 90 percent that they will go public in Hong Kong," he told the Global Times.

According to Zhang, if Ant Financial seeks an IPO in the US, the company might be asked by the US to disclose user data that they cannot provide for security reasons. He also noted that the regulations of Hong Kong's stock markets are more accommodating to financial innovation businesses compared with A-share markets, making it more suitable for the Chinese fintech giant to seek an IPO. 

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