Ant Plans its Public Debut in Shanghai and Hong Kong

Possibly the Largest IPO of 2020

Ant Group, a fintech company affiliated with e-commerce superpower Alibaba (BABA), is planning a dual IPO. The company announced yesterday that it plans to list shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange, or the HKEX, and the Shanghai stock exchange’s STAR board. Ant is seeking a valuation of $200 billion or more, and its listing could be one of the largest IPOs of 2020.

Ant created the Alipay mobile wallet, which, along with Tencent’s (TCEHY) WeChat Pay, has gained immense popularity in China. The coronavirus pandemic made these digital payment systems even more widespread in the country as people try to avoid using cash.

Worries About Wall Street

Ant’s decision not to make its public debut on Wall Street is a signal that companies are feeling the impact of rising tensions between the US and China.

Recently, Chinese tech giants (JD) and Alibaba (BABA) launched secondary listings in Hong Kong, raising $4 billion and $13 billion, respectively. Chinese companies trading in the US are facing increased scrutiny and could want the security of having a listing closer to home.

For context, Alibaba began trading on Wall Street in 2014. It raised $25 billion, making its debut the largest IPO in the world at the time. Missing out on Ant’s IPO is a blow for some Wall Street investors, banks, and indexes.

Hong Kong Launches New Tech-Centric Index

As the IPO market heats up in China, Hong Kong is making plans to roll out a new index that focuses specifically on technology stocks, much like the Nasdaq. The new index, called the Hang Seng TECH Index, is expected to begin operations next week.

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