Ant IPO 'locks Up Record HK$1.3 Trillion'

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2020-10-30 HKT 15:30

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  • Hangzhou-based Ant Group is on track to become the world's largest IPO. File photo: AFP

    Hangzhou-based Ant Group is on track to become the world's largest IPO. File photo: AFP

Ant Group has broken records in both the number of people subscribed and the amount of money it locked up in its highly anticipated IPO in Hong Kong, according to sources.

RTHK learned that more than 1.5 million retail investors had signed up for the offering for the mobile payment giant. The subscription deadline ended at noon.

If confirmed, that would surpass ICBC's public offering in 2006 when almost one million people subscribed for the mainland bank's listing.

Ant's retail subscription has reportedly frozen almost HK$1.3 trillion dollars in funds, almost doubling the record set by mainland bottled drinks maker Nongfu Spring's IPO last month.

The digital finance firm, which operates Alipay, is on course to top Saudi Aramco to become the world's biggest IPO, raising an expected US$34.5 billion in its dual listing.

Demand for shares of the company affiliated with Alibaba had also been pushing up demand for the Hong Kong dollar, prompting multiple interventions by the Monetary Authority to rein in the local currency to within its narrow trading band against the greenback.

Ant will debut on both the Hong Kong stock exchange and Shanghai's Nasdaq-style STAR Market next Thursday.

It has set the offer price at HK$80 in Hong Kong and 68.8 yuan in Shanghai per share.

Fitch Ratings said Ant's public offering has highlighted Hong Kong's role as a world financial centre. "Hong Kong’s attractiveness to Chinese firms for raising international capital, as well as its sizeable external and fiscal buffers, will help to mitigate the credit impact of a recent erosion in perceptions of its governance standards and the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic."

Fitch said around US$350 billion was raised in Hong Kong for the first nine months of the year.

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Last updated: 2020-10-30 HKT 19:12