New information has come out this week about Ant Group’s IPO plans.
Instead of listing on the tech-heavy (and U.S.-based) NASDAQ, Ant Group will list concurrently on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Shanghai’s Star Market. This comes after Ant’s parent company, Alibaba listed on the New York Stock exchange in 2014.
Analysts suspect that Ant’s listing plan is largely a response to rising geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China. There are practical reasons, however, for Ant to list in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Hong Kong introduced weighted voting rights in 2018 and Shanghai’s Star Market offers more market-driven pricing than other domestic exchanges.
“The innovative measures implemented by the Shanghai Star Market and the stock exchange of Hong Kong have opened the door for global investors to access leading-edge technology companies from the most dynamic economies in the world,” said Ant’s executive chairman Eric Jing. “and for those companies to have access to the capital markets.”
Ant’s parent company Alibaba still holds the record for the second-largest IPO when it listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 and raised $24 billion. It is too early for Ant to discuss size and timing of the share sales; analysts have valued the company in the range of $210 billion to $218 billion.