Ant Financial will launch IPO at some point, says Alibaba boss Ma

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2016, 8:57pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2016, 8:57pm

Ant Financial, an affiliate of Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group, will go for an initial public offering “someday”, Jack Ma said on Tuesday, without revealing whether it will be in Hong Kong.

“For IPO, for where, how and when, we haven’t figured it out yet. But I know someday, we will be going for it,” Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group, said in Hangzhou.

“[IPO] is not only because we want to raise money, the purpose of an IPO is that we want to share the prosperity, share our success with more people, and to have more people joining us to improve inclusive financing.”

Alibaba is the owner of the South China Morning Post.

We think that inclusive financing should become a theme in the 21st century
Jack Ma, executive chairman, Alibaba Group

Media reports last month said that Ant Financial planned a listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange in the first half of next year, but its fundraising size was unknown.

Ant Financial was reportedly considering dual listing, floating shares on both the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges. But the plan was said to be on hold because of regulatory hurdles.

As the owner of China’s largest online payment service company Alipay, Ant Financial’s valuation reached US$60 billion after its latest round of funding in April, which raised US$4.5 billion.

Although a young company, Ant Financial has more than 500 million users and makes financial services accessible and affordable to millions of small businesses, Ma said.

The company is also expanding its presence under its global strategy targeting users in India, Japan, South Korea and Europe.

“We have been moving very aggressively into the other part of the world, this is not because we need more money, but we think that inclusive financing should become a theme in the 21st century,” Ma said.

Last year, Ant Financial invested about US$680 million in a stake of India’s mobile payment platform Paytm. Alipay has stepped up efforts to introduce its payment services overseas, particularly in destinations popular with Chinese tourists.

Alipay now offers payment services for more than 80,000 overseas offline stores in 70 countries and regions.