Ant Group Raises Target Valuation to USD$280 Billion

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Chinese fintech giant Ant Group plans to raise the target value for its IPO to USD$280 billion according to sources.

Sources said that following preliminary discussions with investors Ant Group now plans to raise the valuation for its dual IPO in Shanghai and Hong Kong by 12%, from $250 billion to at least $280 billion, according to a 16 October report from Bloomberg.

Ant Group hopes to raise around USD$35 billion via the dual listing, making it the largest IPO in history ahead of Saudi Aramco’s previous $29 billion fund-raising.

The valuation would make Ant Group larger than Bank of America, and three times the value of Citibank.

The sources said that the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE) will conduct a hearing for Ant Group’s IPO as early as this week.

According to a report from IFR on 19 October the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) plans to give its approval to Ant Group’s Hong Kong IPO this week, for a listing just several days prior to the US presidential election.

Barclays, Bank of China International and ICBC International have been selected as the book runners for Ant Group’s Hong Kong IPO, while China International Capital Corporation, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley have been selected as IPO sponsors. Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse will serve as global sales coordinators.

Ant Group’s IPO recently came under heightened scrutiny in China because of a potential conflict of interest with the exclusive sale of five investment funds via its Alipay platform. The funds are permitted to allocate 10% of investment to new shares in Ant Group, leading to concerns that the company could be “underwriting its own IPO.”

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