China’s dominant mobile payments firm is preparing for the world’s largest IPO

26 august 2020

Ant Group, Alibaba’s fintech arm and China’s dominant mobile payments firm, filed for a dual listing in Hong Kong and on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style STAR Market on Tuesday and could raise as much as $30 billion in what would be the world’s largest IPO, according to Reuters. Proceeds from the IPO will be used to expand cross-border payments and boost research and development.

Ant, already the world’s most valuable unicorn – or billion-dollar unlisted tech firm – did not disclose the size, timetable or other key details of the offering in its preliminary prospectus.

Ant Group Co., Ltd. (“Ant Group”, formerly known as Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group Co., Ltd.), an unconsolidated related party in which Alibaba Group holds a 33% equity interest, publicly filed its listing applications on August 25, 2020 with the Shanghai Stock Exchange and The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited in connection with its previously announced plan for a concurrent listing and initial public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

„We understand that the timing of any such listing and offering will be contingent upon market conditions and other factors, and there can be no assurance as to when such listing and offering will be completed,” the company said.

„The above announcement does not constitute an offer of securities for sale in the United States or an invitation or solicitation of an offer to acquire, purchase or subscribe for securities in Mainland China or Hong Kong S.A.R., and any securities described herein may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration”, Ant Group said.

„Any public offering of securities to be made in the United States, Mainland China or Hong Kong S.A.R. would be made by means of a prospectus that is registered and may be obtained from Ant Group, which would contain detailed information about Ant Group and its management, as well as financial statements” the company added.

Ant brought in revenues of 72.5 billion yuan ($10.5 billion) in the first half of the year. This compares to revenues of 120.6 billion yuan ($17 billion) for the whole of 2019 with profits of 18 billion yuan ($2.5 billion).

Alipay still accounts for much of Ant’s revenues; the mobile payments app has over a billion annual active users and was used for $16 trillion in transactions last year.

Digital payments and merchant services accounted for 43% of revenues while the firm’s credit platform accounted for 34.7%, its investment platform 14.1% and its insurance offering 7.4%.

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Gabriela Nistor – director general adjunct BT

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.”

Sondaj

In 23 septembrie 2019, BNR a anuntat infiintarea unui Fintech Innovation Hub pentru a sustine inovatia in domeniul serviciilor financiare si de plata. In acest sens, care credeti ca ar trebui sa fie urmatorul pas al bancii centrale?