Ant prepares IPO potentially worth $30bn

Ant has revealed plans for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) potentially worth a record $30 billion.

The Chinese financial technology group, which includes Alibaba and Alipay in its ecosystem, will place the shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Its announcement did not give any details of the valuation or how much it plans to raise in its stock market debut, but analysts suggest the group could be worth as much as $300 billion.

With the company expected to sell shares equating to a stake of between 10 per cent and 15 per cent, it could be the largest IPO in history.

The regulatory filings reveal Ant's revenues to be 72.5 billion yuan ($10.5 billion) in the first half of this year, compared to 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, with the mobile payment app claiming over a billion annual active users, with $16 trillion in transactions last year.

Digital payments and merchant services accounted for 43 per cent of revenues, while its credit platform accounted for 34.7 per cent, the investment platform brought in 14.1 per cent and its insurance offering 7.4 per cent.

Proceeds from the IPO will be used to expand cross-border payments and boost research and development, according to the filing.

The news comes at a time of rising tensions between Beijing and Washington over issues including China's handling of the Coronavirus, Hong Kong security laws and their ongoing trade dispute.

President Trump has recently increased his attacks on Chinese technology companies, signing two executive orders banning TikTok and WeChat among others.

Headquartered in Hangzhou, Ant was launched in 2004 by e-commerce giant Alibaba, with Alipay growing to become China's dominant mobile payments business. More than 700 million people a month and 80 million businesses use the service to pay bills, buy insurance and invest in funds.

Alibaba, which owns a 33 per cent stake in Ant, is increasingly folding its services into the Alipay app.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories