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Ant Group prepares for ‘biggest IPO in history’

Ant Group, the online payments provider that could be described as the Asian equivalent of PayPal, is preparing for what some are predicting will be the biggest initial public offering in history.

Parent company Alibaba Group is set to float the company on the Hong Kong Stock exchange early next month, according to Reuters.

Ant’s Alipay app has more than 700 million users across Asia and processed $17 trillion in transactions in the 12 months to June this year, reports Bloomberg.

These figures are debatable, as CNBC says that Ant Group has 900 user in China alone. The website also reports that the Shanghai Stock Exchange will also be part of the IPO.

Alipay used to control 75 percent of the online payments market but has recently been scaled back to 55 per cent by Tencent, with its WeChat Pay rival.

One of the reasons why Ant Group is valued so highly is that it has diversified its business and added new revenue streams with products such as loans and insurance.

Whether or not Ant will be allowed to operate in Europe and the Americas is not yet known, but even now, its $225 valuation places it in potentially in the top 10 largest financial services companies in the world, with only JPMorgan, ICBC, and Bank of America ahead of it.

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