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- Ant Group’s historic $35 billion IPO is garnering unprecedented interest from retail investors in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
- Jack Ma’s financial services company took in more than $3 trillion in orders from individual investors across its dual listings in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
- Roughly 19.1 trillion yuan (2.9 trillion) worth of bids was raised in the Shanghai portion, according to regulatory filings. The Hong Kong allocation drew 1.3 trillion Hong Kong dollars ($168 billion) in bids, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
- The Shanghai allocation was oversubscribed by 872 times, while the Hong Kong half saw bids for 389 times the shares on offer.
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Ant Group aims to raise more cash in its initial public offering than any other in history, and the massive debut is fueling similarly unprecedented demand among retail investors.
The financial services company – a branch of Jack Ma’s Alibaba empire – took in more than $3 trillion in orders from retail investors across its dual listings in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Roughly 19.1 trillion yuan ($2.9 trillion) worth of bids was raised in the Shanghai portion of the IPO, according to regulatory filings. The sum surpasses the exchange’s supply of shares by 872 times.
The Hong Kong debut pulled in 1.3 trillion Hong Kong dollars ($168 billion), sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. That’s roughly 389 times the shares set to be made available. The Hong Kong tranche also garnered nearly twice the bids as the city’s next-biggest debut.
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Interest in the company’s debut was so extreme that one brokerage’s platform crashed, Bloomberg reported.
Ant is set to raise $34.5 billion across the two offerings in November, breaking the IPO-proceedings record set by Saudi Aramco last year. The listing will likely value Ant at more than $313 billion. The company is slated to begin trading in Hong Kong on November 5; it’s not yet known when shares will start trading in Shanghai.
The tidal wave of retail demand suggests individual investors aren’t put off by numerous risks facing the firm. For one, the IPO was delayed earlier in the month after China’s markets regulator reportedly probed the company for a potential conflict of interest. The China Securities Regulatory Commission investigated whether Ant’s flagship platform Alipay was the only channel through which retail investors could access the IPO.
Ant also faces scrutiny in the US. The State Department proposed adding the company to its trade blacklist earlier in the month, according to Reuters. China hawks in the Trump administration reportedly wanted to disincentivize US investors from participating in the firm’s IPO.
The move also furthers a streak of aggressive trade measures that keep US-China tensions at heightened levels. Should President Donald Trump win reelection, Ant could be the target of continued US investigation.
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