Ant Group IPO Suspended in Hong Kong and Shanghai
On Tuesday, the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges announced Ant Group's record IPO was being suspended, according to CNBC.
Alibaba owns around 33 percent of Ant Group and saw its shares fall more than 8 percent during Tuesday's session. “We will be proactive in supporting Ant Group to adapt to and embrace the evolving regulatory framework,” said an Alibaba spokesperson. “We have full confidence in Ant Group colleagues’ ability to do a good job. Society has high expectations for Alibaba. We will continue to work hard to not only meet but exceed expectations and fulfill our responsibility to society.”
On Monday, the Chinese central bank worked with regulators to draft new rules for online micro-lending that could impact Ant Group. According to a statement from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, Jack Ma, executive chairman Eric Jing, and CEO Simon Hu will be interviewed by regulators in China. The Shanghai Stock Exchange referenced that meeting in its explanation for suspending the IPO.
The statement said that Ant Group had “significant issues such as the changes in financial technology regulatory environment.” Furthermore, “these issues may result in your company not meeting the conditions for listing or meeting the information disclosure requirements.” Ant Group was expecting to raise around $34.5 billion in a record-breaking IPO and dual list its shares in Shanghai and Hong Kong on Thursday.
“Ant Group sincerely apologizes to you for any inconvenience caused by this development,” an Ant Group spokesperson said. “We will properly handle the follow-up matters in accordance with applicable regulations of the two stock exchanges. We will overcome the challenges and live up to the trust on the principles of: stable innovation; embrace of regulation; service to the real economy; and win-win cooperation.”