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Around the World

World’s Biggest IPO halted by Chinese President

Ant Group’s world’s biggest IPO was reportedly halted by the President of China.

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Ant Group’s $34 billion IPO was halted by Chinese President, Xi Jinping, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, a week after the mega IPO was unexpectedly stopped by Chinese regulatory authorities.

WSJ said a speech given by Jack Ma days before the IPO infuriated the Chinese ruling party as Mr. Ma cited Mr. Xi’s words in what top government officials saw as an effort to burnish his own image and tarnish that of regulators.
Jack Ma’s attack on the Chinese financial services industry was read to President Xi who ordered Chinese regulators to investigate and all but shut down Ant’s initial public offering.

Chinese President Xi Jinping personally made the decision to halt the initial public offering of Ant Group, which would have been the world’s biggest, after controlling shareholder Jack Ma infuriated government leaders, according to Chinese officials with knowledge of the matter.

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The rebuke was the culmination of years of tense relations between China’s most celebrated entrepreneur and a government uneasy about his influence and the rapid growth of the digital-payments behemoth he controlled,” WSJ reported.

What you should know

Nairametrics reported last month that Ant Group was hoping to raise $34.5 billion in its dual initial public offering (IPO) after setting the price for its shares today, making it the biggest listing of all in modern history.

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Last week, Ant Group’s world record-setting IPO, scheduled to hold in Hong Kong and Shanghai, was suspended.

Ant Group’s controller, Jack Ma, Executive Chairman, Eric Jing, and CEO, Simon Hu, were scrutinized by regulators in China, according to a statement seen from the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

A spokesperson for Ant Group apologised for the delay of its initial public offering and further disclosed that the Group was working through regulatory concerns with the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges.

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Nairametrics also reported that experts noted that Ant Group which was planning for the world’s biggest IPO, could see its valuation drop by $150 billion after its public listing was postponed.

Investors around the world already had committed to paying more than $34 billion for Ant’s shares. It isn’t clear whether it was Mr. Xi or another government official who first suggested the shutdown.

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