Saudi Arabia’s sovereign fund ponders investment into Ant Group’s IPO: Report

China’s Ant Group plans to raise more funds on Shanghai’s Star market than in Hong Kong as part of its up to USD 30 billion dual listing.

An employee scans a quick response (QR) code displayed on the Ant Financial Services Group's Alipay app, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., inside a Sa Sa International Holdings Ltd. store in an arranged photograph in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. The urgency to prepare regulatory environments for fintech is growing as banks begin offering digital services such as biometric authentication and as mobile-payment systems such as Apple Pay and AliPay are introduced around the region. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is considering to invest in the IPO of Chinese fintech giant Ant Group, which could raise as much as USD 30 billion via a dual listing in Hong Kong and on Shanghai’s Star Market, Reuters reported on Thursday.

If the deal proceeds, it would be the sovereign fund’s most high-profile direct investment in a Chinese company, according to Reuters. PIF, with more than USD 300 billion in assets, previously mainly spent its money in the US, but recently also set its sight on Asian companies. In June, it injected USD 1.5 billion into Jio Platforms, the digital technology arm of the sprawling Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries. Ant Group’s IPO could come as soon as October. It is currently in the second round of the exchange regulator’s inquiries, according to Xinhua.

Ant Group plans to raise more funds on the Star market than in Hong Kong although the specific percentage breakdown was yet to be finalized, Reuters reported last week. Shanghai Exchange vice general manager Liu Ti said at a conference on September 9 that, with companies such as Ant, JD Digits, and Geely filing for IPO, the total market volume of the Star board is estimated to reach RMB 5,000 billion (USD 731 billion) by the end of this year.