(Bloomberg) — The headwinds that toppled Ant Group Co.’s initial public offering now threaten a $22 billion dream of China’s Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. — to pivot from a finance group to a tech giant and be valued like one.
While Ping An’s Lufax Holding Ltd., which offers wealth management and retail lending services, was able to complete its U.S. IPO days before new Chinese rules torpedoed Ant’s $35 billion sale, the stock has given up early gains and is now a target for short sellers. Renewed threats by U.S. regulators to delist Chinese stocks also threaten Ping An’s plans to take more of its in-house startups public.
Ant’s IPO suspension “fundamentally changed near-term investment appetite” for Chinese fintech stocks, with Lufax as “the community’s No. 1 consensus short,” according to a Nov. 5 report from Procensus, which polled 84 global investors managing $15.3 trillion. Short interest