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Company News

INSTANT VIEW-China halts Ant Group's mega IPO

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SINGAPORE, Nov 3 (Reuters) - The Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges on Tuesday suspended Ant Group’s IPO, which was initially set for Thursday, in a stunning setback for what was on track to be the world’s largest-ever share sale.

Following are instant reactions from analysts:

WANG JIYUE, EX-SENIOR INVESTMENT BANKER AND A COLUMNIST FOR THE MAINLAND CAPITAL MARKET:

“The suspension does not necessarily mean cancellation, so the final listing is just a matter of time, But with the online micro-lending rules freshly rolled out, Ant does have the responsibility to spell out the impact to its business. In front of rules, Ant should not get special treatment and it’s how the registration-base IPO system works.”

VARUN MITTAL, SINGAPORE-BASED HEAD OF EMERGING MARKETS FINTECH BUSINESS AT EY

“As regulated financial services players like banks and insurers converge in offering to technology firms, regulators are faced with three options - regulate technology firms like incumbents, modify existing laws to handle new models and providers, and lastly create a new set of laws to manage oversight of technology firms.

Each country is adopting a diverse mix from the above three options to achieve the end objectives of stability of financial services ecosystem, consumer protection and preserving market competition.”

PHILIPPE ESPINASSE, CAPITAL MARKETS CONSULTANT AND FORMER INVESTMENT BANKER:

“Either this is something that requires short-term clarification through an announcement and/or supplemental prospectus, and investors could be asked to reconfirm their orders, generally not many do so, when something like this happens. Or the deal will simply be pulled and delayed for a period time, pending resolution of the issues.

“This a significant blow or development for both for the company and other potential fintech issuers in Hong Kong and mainland China.” (Reporting by Scott Murdoch, Anshuman Daga, Cheng Leng; Editing by Edward Tobin)

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