Analysis: Fin or tech? China’s Ant, biggest-ever IPO, says it’s a tech firm not a bank

By Yingzhi Yang, Cheng Leng and Julie Zhu

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s Ant Group <688688.SS><6688.HK>, about to make the biggest public sale of shares ever, poses a basic conundrum: what kind of company is it – a financial colossus or a tech giant?

That is important for investors before and after the initial public offering of $34.4 billion, surpassing Saudi Aramco’s record $29.4 billion float last year. Shares are expected to start trading on Thursday in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

A spinoff from billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group <9988.HK>, Ant presents itself as a technology company, while financial regulators suggest the firm remains under their purview.

The Hangzhou-based giant benefits from the far richer valuations the market affords to tech firms than to financial institutions. It hopes to escape the closer scrutiny of financial regulators, analysts say.

China’s central bank and financial regulators met on Monday with Ma and

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Fin or tech? China’s Ant, biggest-ever IPO, says it’s a tech firm not a bank

By Yingzhi Yang, Cheng Leng and Julie Zhu

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s Ant Group, about to make the biggest public sale of shares ever, poses a basic conundrum: what kind of company is it – a financial colossus or a tech giant?

That is important for investors before and after the initial public offering of $34.4 billion, surpassing Saudi Aramco’s record $29.4 billion float last year. Shares are expected to start trading on Thursday in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

A spinoff from billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group, Ant presents itself as a technology company, while financial regulators suggest the firm remains under their purview.

The Hangzhou-based giant benefits from the far richer valuations the market affords to tech firms than to financial institutions. It hopes to escape the closer scrutiny of financial regulators, analysts say.

China’s central bank and financial regulators met on Monday with Ma and top Ant

Read More