Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings and sovereign wealth fund GIC have been in talks to invest in Chinese fintech unicorn Ant Group’s dual listing in Hong Kong and on the Shanghai Exchange’s tech-focused Star market, Reuters reported on Friday, citing sources.
Ant Group, in which Alibaba Group Holding holds a one-third share, could raise as much as USD 30 billion through the IPO, surpassing Saudi Aramco’s USD 29.4 billion listing to become the world’s largest-ever fundraising. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is also considering investing in Ant’s IPO.
The Star Market listing committee will meet on September 18 to vet Ant’s application while the Hong Kong listing is also in process. The IPO could come as soon as in October. In a filing made with Shanghai exchange, Ant outlined its ownership structure.
Retired Alibaba founder Jack Ma is the majority controller of Ant, which is independent of Alibaba. Ant is the operator of mobile wallet Alipay, which is not only a third-party payment tool but also provides loans, insurance, and other asset management services. In order to emphasize its technology prowess, Ant Financial Service Group dropped the word “financial” from its name and renamed to “Ant Technology Group” in June.
Ant’s decision to not list its shares in New York may be partly due to the rising tension between China and the US, as several US-listed Chinese firms planning secondary listings in Hong Kong to help establish an investor base closer to home.
In the first half of 2020, Ant Group earned a total revenue of RMB 73 billion (USD 11 billion), a 37.7% jump from the same period of last year. Fintech-related businesses, including online credit system, e-insurance, and wealth management, generated more than 60% of the firm’s earnings, while digital payment accounted for 36%.
The group reported an RMB 22 billion (USD 3.2 billion) profit in the six months ended June 30, 2020, which is almost 11 times higher than the profit generated in the first quarter of 2019.