Remember when Saudi oil giant Aramco made waves for conducting the largest initial public offering (IPO) of all time? Well, the oil titans just got toppled by an even bigger IPO, belonging to none other than Jack Ma’s Ant Group. In a move that is undoubtedly a major win for the tech company and China’s stock market in general, the Ant Group’s IPO raised a tremendous $34.4 billion.
Responsible for China’s largest online payments platform, Ant Group priced its dual listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Shanghai’s Star Market at 80 Hong Kong dollars (approx. PKR 1,650) and 68.8 yuan(approx. PKR 1,640) per share respectively.
These per share figures mean that the initial public offering will raise the astronomical amount of $34.4 billion and give the company a valuation of more than $310 billion. In comparison, Aramco raised $29.4 billion (the world record back then) in its IPO last year.
With Ant Group selling 1.67 billion shares in both Hong Kong and Shanghai (basically 11% of the company) in this IPO, it appears that investors will start taking notice of the Chinese business landscape and make their move. This, of course, is exactly what China must have been hoping for.
So, what exactly is the Ant Group? It is a financial tech company affiliated with none other than Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange back in 2014 in what was a world-record IPO back then. Jack Ma, as the ultimate owner of Ant Group, will basically be reaping a tremendous IPO profit for the second time in his life.
Mirroring Alibaba’s success, Ant Group quickly rose up the ranks and established its presence in almost every aspect of Chinese life, from investment accounts to dating profiles. Its payments app, Alipay, has more than 730 million monthly active users and handled a mindboggling 118 trillion yuan in payments made in the 12 months through June.