Jack Ma’s Ant Group co. is set to raise about $34.5 billion through initial public offerings in Shanghai and Hong Kong, a blockbuster listing that will rank as the biggest IPO ever and make it one of the most valuable finance firms on the planet, according to Bloomberg.
Demand has been so high the company plans to stop taking investor orders for the Hong Kong leg a day earlier than scheduled as the share sale has already been heavily subscribed.
The fintech giant will have a market value of about $315 billion based on filings Monday, bigger than JPMorgan Chase & Co. and four times larger than Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The value vaults Ma’s fortune to $71.6 billion, topping the Walmart Inc. heirs.
The IPO is attracting interest from zone of the world’s biggest money managers, and sparking a frenzy among individual investors in China clamoring for a piece of the sale. In the preliminary price consultation of its Shanghai IPO, institutional investors subscribed for over 76 billion shares, more than 284 times the initial offline offering tranche, according to Ant’s Shanghai offering announcement.
„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. „We wouldn’t have dare to think about it five years, or even three years ago.”
The strong demand puts the much anticipated IPO on track to surpass Saudi Aramco’s $29 billion sale last year. Ant priced its Shanghai stock at 68.8 yuan ($10.27) apiece and its Hong Kong shares at HK $80 ($10.32) each. The company may raise another $5.17 billion if it exercises the option to sell additional shares to meet demand, known as the greenshoe.
Ant began when Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. launched the Alipay payments app in 2004 as an escrow service for buyers and sellers on Ma’s e-commerce website. In 2013, they were given the ability to save money and earn interest on the balances stored on their accounts. The firm then started offering credit to small businesses, branching out from its consumer-finance focus, and eventually expanded to services such as blockchain, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
„Tendinţele pe care le-am remarcat înainte de începerea pandemiei s-au accelerat pe perioada stării de urgenţă. Am văzut acest lucru ca o oportunitate, un tipping point pentru bancă. Post-pandemie nu avem cum sa ne întoarcem la comportamentul financiar pe care îl aveam până în februarie a.c. Relaţia românilor cu online-ul s-a schimbat. In plus, cardul fizic se va dematerializa. Vom asista la o scădere a cererii pentru cardurile fizice, respectiv la o creştere a preferinţei pentru componenta digitală a acestora.”