Ant Group to raise $34bn in world's biggest float

Hannah Boland
·2-min read
Ant Group headquarters in Shanghai
Ant Group headquarters in Shanghai

Mobile payments behemoth Ant Group is set to raise $34bn (£26bn) when it goes public next week in the world's biggest ever stock market listing. 

Chinese firm Ant - owner of payments service Alipay - released the terms for its dual listing on Monday, revealing it was aiming to raise around $17.2bn in Shanghai and the same amount in Hong Kong.

This will be significantly more than the $29bn that was raised by oil giant Saudi Aramco late last year, and would see Ant valued at more than $313bn. The company will still be ultimately controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce empire Alibaba.

The dual-listing is seen as a major coup for China and Hong Kong's capital markets, which have previously missed out on major floats of homegrown firms. Alibaba itself went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014. 

The float will leave Ant worth more than the world's largest bank by assets, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

Ant Group is setting a target price of around 68.8 yuan (£7.87) per share for Shanghai and HK$80 (£7.93) per share in Hong Kong. The plans to sell up to 1.67bn shares in both the Shanghai and Hong Kong floats, with a bookbuild for the Hong Kong leg kicking off on Monday. 

The dual-listing will come after a strong period of trading for the company. Recent filings revealed profits were up more than 70pc year-on-year in the third quarter, and Ant recorded revenues of around 118.2 billion yuan for the first nine months of 2020. 

Ant's Alipay digital payments service is used by around one billion people. It is the world's largest mobile payments provider, ahead of rival PayPal. 

Funds raised from the float are expected to go towards expanding cross-border payments, as well as being spent on research and development.