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Ant Group IPO pricing is “the biggest in history”, says Jack Ma from Alibaba



The mammoth double list for Chinese fintech giant Ant Group will be the largest in the world, according to prices set on Friday night, Alibaba founder Jack Ma said on Saturday.

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“For the first time, the prices on such a large list – the largest in human history – have been set outside New York,” he said at the Bund summit in Shanghai’s eastern financial center.

“We didn̵

7;t dare think about it five or even three years ago. But a miracle just happened,” he told an audience that included officials from Chinese regulators.

He did not give exact details on the pricing, which is expected to be officially announced next week.

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Supported by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Ant plans to list both in Hong Kong and STAR Market in Shanghai in the coming weeks.

Sources say the list could cost $ 35 billion, surpassing Saudi Aramco’s record of $ 29.4 billion last December.

Ma said the financial and regulatory system is hampering innovation, calling for restructuring to expand financial services for smaller businesses and individuals based on technology – a foundation on which Ant is largely based.

He said the global system set up after World War II was outdated and too unfavorable, calling the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision an “old men’s club” and warning that risks were accumulating throughout the economy.

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In China, banks are still operating with a strong pawnshop mentality, requiring collateral and guarantees before lending, a model that will not fuel future growth, he said.

Instead, he said, a new, inclusive and universal banking system needs to be created that lends to small businesses and individuals on the basis of big data.

Ant, which has an extensive payment and microcredit business that is largely data-driven, is facing increasing regulatory scrutiny.

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“Today’s financial system is the legacy of the industrial age,” Ma said. “We need to create a new one for the next generation and young people. We need to reform the current system.”

(Report by Samuel Shen and Brenda Goch; Edited by William Mallard)


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