Jack Ma: Ant Group IPO pricing “history’s largest”

Ant Group

The colossal dual listing for Chinese FinTech Ant Group will be the world’s largest, according to a pricing determined late on Friday, Alibaba founder Jack Ma said over the weekend.

“It’s the first time that the pricing of such a big listing – the largest in human history – has been determined outside New York City” he informed the Bund Summit in the eastern financial hub of Shanghai.

But a miracle just occurred,” he advised the crowd, which included officials from China’s regulators.

He did not give exact details of their pricing which is expected to be officially announced next week.

Backed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Ant plans to list simultaneously in Hong Kong and on Shanghai’s STAR Market at the forthcoming weeks.

Sources have said the list might be worth $35 billion, surpassing the record set by Saudi Aramco’s $29.4 billion float in December.

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Ma explained the regulatory and financial system stifles innovation, calling for a revamp to expand financial solutions to more small businesses and individuals on the grounds of technologies – an ethos which Ant is mainly based on.

He said the worldwide system established following World War II is obsolete and too risk-averse, calling the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision “an old men’s club” and warning that risks are amassing in the whole market.

In China, banks still operate with a powerful “pawnshop” mindset, demanding security and guarantees before committing, a model that will fail to fuel future growth, he explained.

Instead, he said a new, inclusive and universal banking system that lends to small companies and individuals on the grounds of big data must be established.

Ant, that has an extensive payment and micro-lending business that’s largely based on large data, has faced rising scrutiny from regulators.

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“Today’s financial system is the legacy of the Industrial Age,” Ma explained.

“We must reform the current system.”

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Samuel Shen and Brenda Goh. Editing by William Mallard.

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