Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) Financial Division Seeks To Raise $10 Billion In Hong Kong IPO

Ant Financial, a division of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) is looking to raise roughly $10 billion through an IPO that will be launched in Hong Kong in 2017.

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The financial services company together with Alibaba are reportedly in talks with various investment banks including Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS). Ant Financial does not currently have a clearly defined timeline though the company is reportedly targeting the first half of next year to launch the IPO in Hong Kong.

An Ant Financial spokesman reported that the firm is yet to decide on the location for the IPO listing. Roughly one month ago, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma revealed during an interview with South China Morning Post that Ant Financial will soon pursue an IPO. Ma also stated that the financial company’s management board had not drawn out a specific plan.

Ant Financial owns Alipay, which is the biggest online payment service firm with more than 500 million users. In 2015, the company had 68.4% market share in the mobile payment sector in China. The company was also valued at $60 billion after a series of financing in April in which it received $4.5 billion.

“Alipay has a very strong leadership in terms of online payment ecosystem,” stated Elinor Leung, CLSA’s head of telecom and Internet research in Hong Kong.

Leung also stated that aside from being a payment platform, Alipay also acts as a distribution platform for other products from Ant financial. Analysts believe that Hong Kong is ideal as the IPO destination for the company. This is because Hong Kong does not have the same regulatory hurdles as other regions. The company will, however, have to secure regulatory approval by top regulators in China.

Alibaba stock closed the latest trading session at $107.08 up, by $0.12 or 0.11 compared to the stock price during the previous close.

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