Billionaire Jack Ma sets a new record with his giant ant - in 2014 his Alibaba IPO had already broken all records. Today, this new mega-IPO responds perfectly to the wishes of Beijing, which wants to see the national flagships of the technology sector listed on national stock exchanges (Shanghai and Hong Kong), in a period of heightened rivalry with the United States. United. Ant Group is the parent company of Alipay, an essential payment system in China, which claims 700 million monthly users for an annual transaction volume equivalent to 14,000 billion euros.
The biggest IPO in history: Chinese Ant, owner of online payment giant Alipay, plans to raise a record $ 34 billion in a double deal in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
In the midst of the Beijing-Washington rivalry, this colossal amount allows Communist China to appear as a juggernaut of global finance, exceeding the records usually recorded on Wall Street.
Key player in electronic payment in China
Ant Group, affiliated with the Chinese leader in e-commerce Alibaba, is a key player in electronic payment in its country with its Alipay service.
Present mainly in mainland China, this system is in the form of an application to download to your smartphone. Alipay allows you to pay for online purchases directly on your screen or in shops using QR codes to scan.
14,000 billion euros per year and 700 million monthly users
Ant claims an annual transaction volume exceeding 118 trillion yuan (14.4 trillion euros) and more than 700 million monthly active users.
In two separate statements released Monday, Ant announced that it would sell as of Tuesday, in Hong Kong Square, 1.67 billion shares at HK $ 80 per unit.
Ant will also market 1.67 billion shares, at a unit price of 68.80 yuan in Shanghai, where the group also wants to be listed.
In total, the operation therefore exceeds 34 billion dollars (28.7 billion euros). It could even be close to the 40 billion dollars if the over-allotment options are exercised. This amount would make it the largest IPO in history. The securities of the firm with the ant (蚂蚁, pronounced "Mǎyǐ" in Chinese, and 蚂蚁 金融 for Ant financial, that is to say "The financial ant") will be listed from November 5.
An IPO with multiple political objectives
On Saturday, Jack Ma, the emblematic founder of Alibaba, welcomed the interest of investors, even before the formal launch of the operation.
"This is the first time that such a large listing, the biggest in human history, has been done outside New York," he said at a conference in Shanghai.
Bloomberg reported his enthusiastic comments:
"We wouldn't have dreamed of it five years ago, or even three years ago," he said enthusiastically.
By entering Shanghai and Hong Kong, Ant Group is responding to the call of Beijing, which wants to see the national flagships of the technology sector listed on national stock exchanges, in a period of sharp economic and political rivalry with the States -United.
Its arrival on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange should also give energy to the financial center, at a time when questions arise about the international attractiveness of the Chinese autonomous territory, due to its takeover by Beijing.
In 2019, Aramco becomes the IPO champion
The world record for an IPO is currently $ 29.4 billion, swept away by the Saudi oil giant Aramco from the Riyadh Stock Exchange in 2019.
At the time, the economic jewel of Saudi Arabia, which produces about 10% of the world's oil, had broken a previous record previously held by a certain ... Alibaba.
In 2014, Alibaba's IPO broke the record
In 2014, Alibaba made a spectacular entry on the New York Stock Exchange, a $ 25 billion transaction. Either the biggest IPO in history. What, at the time, had sounded like revenge for Jack Ma, rejected by American investors in 1999.
A year ago, the Chinese juggernaut had already chosen to have a second listing in Hong Kong, raising more than 11 billion US dollars.
Ant Group has been formally separated from Alibaba for a few years. And the ant has since moved into lending, wealth management, travel and a host of other services.