Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Ant Group Co. Ltd. is poised to raise up to US$34.4-billion in the world’s largest stock market debut as investors rush to buy into the fast-growing Chinese fintech giant despite risks of greater scrutiny at home and abroad.

The dual listing, a first for Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style STAR Market and Hong Kong, would value Ant at about US$312-billion before a so-called greenshoe option for a 15-per-cent overallotment of shares.

At that valuation, Ant is worth more than Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s biggest bank by assets. The money raised will also shatter the record set by oil major Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco) with its US$29.4-billion listing last December.

Story continues below advertisement

Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of Ant and affiliate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., said it was a “miracle” that such a large listing is taking place outside New York.

Ant’s looming market debut had been clouded by concerns over growing regulatory scrutiny at home for its lucrative consumer credit business as well as a U.S. State Department proposal to add the company to a trade blacklist.

Global investors, however, have largely shrugged off those concerns as they bet on continued rapid growth of a group that also operates China’s biggest mobile payments platform and distributes wealth management and insurance products.

“The fear of missing out and the lack of other opportunities of this calibre” was spurring investor interest in the IPO, said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at investment adviser United First Partners in Singapore.

BOOKS OVERSUBSCRIBED

Ant’s order books on the Hong Kong offering to institutional investors was oversubscribed one hour after the launch, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Many prospective investors placed orders worth at least US$1-billion in the first hour, one of the sources said, adding that the number of the institutional orders could reach about 1,000.

Ant declined to comment on investor demand.

Story continues below advertisement

Headquartered in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, Ant is aiming to raise about US$17.2-billion in Shanghai and roughly the same in Hong Kong.

The group has earmarked 80 per cent of its domestic offering to 29 strategic investors that will be locked up for at least one year. A wholly owned unit of Alibaba has agreed to purchase 44 per cent of the Shanghai float. Other strategic investors in the Shanghai float include China’s National Council for Social Security Fund, a unit of Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings, as well as Singaporean and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds GIC and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Large Chinese insurers and mutual funds will also have shares allocated via the strategic investor route, Monday’s filing showed.

RECORD DEBUT

Ant shares are expected to start trading in Hong Kong and Shanghai on Nov. 5, two days after the U.S. election.

The company set the price tag for the Shanghai leg of the listing at 68.8 yuan (US$10.25) a share and HK$80 (US$10.32) a share for the Hong Kong tranche, the exchange filings showed.

The price represents a multiple of 31.4 times Ant’s 2021 earnings and 24.2 times its 2022 earnings forecast, said a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

By comparison, Alibaba is trading at 34.28 times trailing 12-month earnings in Hong Kong.

Story continues below advertisement

Ant declined to comment on the price multiples.

The group’s China listing would eclipse the record set there previously by Agricultural Bank of China’s US$10.1-billion float in 2010. The record in Hong Kong was set by insurance major AIA’s US$20.5-billion offering in 2010.

The bookbuilding for the Hong Kong leg will run from Monday to Friday, while books for the Shanghai leg open for one day on Thursday.

Ant’s IPO would also serve to burnish STAR’s status.

Companies raised US$22.5-billion via IPOs and secondary listings on STAR between the start of the year and mid-October, making it the third-biggest stock market behind Nasdaq and Hong Kong, Refinitiv data show.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies