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Alibaba's Ant Group Can Still Be World's Biggest IPO, Says Chinese Investor

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA)-backed Ant Group's initial public offering can still clinch the title of the world's biggest IPO, Liu Qiang said at CNBC

· 11/18/2020 08:25

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA)-backed Ant Group's initial public offering can still clinch the title of the world's biggest IPO, Liu Qiang said at CNBC's annual East Tech West conference.

Liu Qiang is the vice president of Fosun Technology and Financial Group, which owns a stake in Ant Group. He is also the deputy chairman of Hani Securities.

What Happened: Ant Group IPO, touted to be the world's largest capital raise of $37 billion, was suspended days before its dual listing in China and Hong kong. The regulators justified the suspension citing tighter regulations to protect the financial interests of consumers and investors. A WSJ report claimed that China's President Xi Jinping personally ordered Jack Ma-backed Ant IPO's halt.

Liu welcomed the regulators' move, noting that both offline and online financial products should be regulated, and clampdown can force players to "make more effort to educate" users. He also said that such moves earlier have made the investors "more sophisticated and invest more."

Liu believes Ant Group can handle the pressure, and it is one of the few companies that can manage "all three dimensions" required from a fintech company: capital flow, data flow, and commerce flow.

Liu did not mention how much Ant can raise in its subsequent listing. "It depends on the capital markets," he said.

Why It Matters: The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the shift to fintech services in China, and Ant Group is poised to take advantage of this opportunity with its large ecosystem of small merchants, according to Liu.

China is home to a $29 trillion mobile payments market, and Liu anticipates the industry to grow 50% annually over the next five years. He also said that the growth would be met with additional regulations. 

Price Action: BABA shares are trading higher by 0.51% at $258.08 in the pre-market session on the last check Wednesday.

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia