Chinese financial technology giant Ant Group looks set to make the world’s largest stock market debut.
Ant, backed by Jack Ma, billionaire founder of e-commerce platform Alibaba, is to sell shares worth about $34.4bn (£26.5bn) on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets.
Jack Ma’s Ant Group set for record $34bn stock market listing— The Hilight (@the_hilight) October 26, 2020
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Advisers to Ant set the share price on Monday amid reports of very strong demand from major investors.
The previous largest debut was Saudi Aramco’s $29.4bn float last December.
Ant, an online payments business, is only selling about 11% of its shares. But the pricing values the whole business at about $313bn.
Mr Ma’s Ant shares are reportedly worth about $17bn, taking his net worth to close to $80bn and confirming him as China’s richest man.
Ant runs Alipay, the dominant online payment system in China, where cash, cheques and credit cards have long been eclipsed by e-payment devices and apps.
The company is expected to make its dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong next week, underling the latter exchange’s growing importance as a financing hub.
The Trump administration has threatened to limit Chinese firms’ access to US capital markets, a move that is part of the long-running trade row between Washington and Beijing.
Chinese tech firms, including NetEase and JD.Com, have already raised billions by selling their shares through the Hong Kong stock market.