Ant Group IPO Pricing Will Be The 'World's Largest' Says Alibaba's Jack Ma

Ant Group IPO Pricing Will Be The 'World's Largest' Says Alibaba's Jack Ma
Photo Credit: Getty Image

SHANGHAI – According to a price decided on Friday night, the gigantic dual listing for China’s fintech giant Ant Group will be the world’s largest, Alibaba founder Jack Ma said on Saturday.

It is the first time that pricing has been decided outside New York for the initial public offering, Alibaba founder Jack Ma told the Bund Summit in Shanghai’s eastern financial hub.

The listing may be the largest initial public offering in the world, surpassing the record set by last December’s $29.4 billion Saudi Aramco float.

“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 told the Bund Summit in the eastern financial hub of Shanghai.

“We didn’t dare to think about it five years ago, or even three years ago. But a miracle just occurred,” he told the audience, which included officials from China’s regulators.

He did not include the exact pricing specifics that are scheduled to be formally released next week.

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

Sources have said the listing may be worth $35 billion, beating the record set last December by Saudi Aramco’s $29.4 billion floats.

Ma said the financial and regulatory framework stifles innovation, calling for a revamp on the basis of technology to expand financial services to more small businesses and individuals, an ethos on which Ant is largely focused.

He said the post-World War II global structure is obsolete and too risk-averse, calling the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision “an old men’s club” and warning that risks are piling up in the economy as a whole.

Banks still operate with a strong ‘pawnshop’ mindset in China, requiring collateral and guarantees prior to lending, a model that will not drive future growth, he said.

Instead, he said, it is important to create a modern, inclusive and universal banking system that lends to small businesses and individuals on the basis of big data.

Ant, which has an extensive payment and micro-lending company that is primarily focused on big data, has been faced with growing regulatory scrutiny.

“Today’s financial system is the legacy of the Industrial Age,” Ma stated. A new one must be set up for the next generation and for young people. We have to change the present structure.

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