Chinese regulators held back approval for Ant to go public out of concern that the company had become too dominant
Jack Ma’s Ant Group has filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong and Shanghai, in what is likely to be one of the biggest debuts in years, potentially topping even Saudi Aramco’s $29 billion initial share sale in 2019.
Here’s what Bloomberg columnists have been saying about it:
Ant will have an elephant-sized coming out party: With one swoop, the dual listing will invigorate Shanghai's technology-focused Star board and provide some welcome market buzz for Hong Kong. Chinese regulators held back approval for Ant to go public out of concern that the company had become too dominant. These concerns have since been assuaged. The regulatory push has turned Ant into more of a platform than a seller of its own proprietorial products. By last year, the company drew half its revenue from local merchants and finance firms, and forecasts that to rise to more than 80 per cent in five years.
– Nisha Gopalan
ready to show china’s subprime books: Billion-dollar initial public offerings are encouraging news
for market sentiment. But we can’t help but wonder: Is this really a good time to celebrate their success, when tension between the US and China is escalating into a war for capital? For most of 2017, consumer micro lending was a lucrative business for Ant, accounting for almost 20 per cent of the group’s income, Bernstein Research estimated. But the cash cow’s milk turned sour that December, when Beijing suspended all unsecured online cash loans. These IPOs will expose the true state of millions of consumer balance sheets.
– Shuli Ren and Anjani Trivedi