Ant Group Receives Final Regulatory Approval for Gigantic IPO, Updates Prospectus

Ant Group on Oct. 21 received approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) for its Shanghai IPO and the company filed an updated prospectus later that day to reveal the plan to list up to 1.67 billion shares each in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The Hangzhou-based fintech giant on previously on Monday received the final nod from the listing committee of Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) for the IPO.

SEE ALSO: China’s Fintech Giant Ant Group Wins Approval From Top Securities Regulator for HK IPO

Expected to be the world’s largest IPO ever as well as the first company to simultaneously list on both the STAR Market and HKEX, Ant’s dual-listing is said to raise $35 billion, smashing the record of Saudi Aramco’s $29.4 billion in December 2019.

As the crown jewel of China’s fintech industry, Ant Group unveiled a gross profit in the first 9 months which surged 74.3% to 69.5 billion yuan and operating revenue rose 42.6% to 118 billion yuan, according to the updated A-share prospectus. The Alibaba affiliate also planned to sell 11% of its equity and allow 15% of its overall amount to be exercised by bankers.

The permission from CSRC for the IPO arrived slightly later than expected due to securities regulator’s investigation into the role of Alipay as the sole third-party channel through which retail investors could buy into the five Chinese mutual funds to invest in the gigantic IPO, which caused Ant to reschedule its initial plan to go public. Rumors on the postponement wound down as Ant stated that the listing was proceeding orderly.

The latest version of the prospectus also introduced a series of dates in the share sale, including Oct. 22 for initial price inquiry announcement and Oct. 27 as the day for offering announcement. Later, Oct. 29 is set for the share subscription and Nov. 2, a day prior to the U.S. presidential election, is when the payments for subscribed shares will be completed.

Neither of the total number of new A-shares and new H-shares will be more than 1,670,706,000.

The mammoth dual-IPO, once completed, will make Hong Kong only second to Nasdaq among all global stock exchange places and boost the year-old tech-heavy STAR Market in Shanghai.