Ant Group ups desired IPO valuation with $280B target: Bloomberg

October 16, 2020.
The app for Alipay, the mobile payments service operated by Ant Group, is seen on a smartphone in Beijing on Monday, July 20, 2020. Ant Group, the online payments arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, announced plans Monday for an initial public stock offering that could become the world's biggest since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

The app for Alipay, the mobile payments service operated by Ant Group, is seen on a smartphone in Beijing on Monday, July 20, 2020. Ant Group, the online payments arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, announced plans Monday for an initial public stock offering that could become the world's biggest since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Chinese fintech has raised its targeted valuation for its upcoming blockbuster initial public offering from $250 billion to at least $280 billion, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

The company is seeking to go public on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and on the Shanghai STAR Market, which it first disclosed in July. Ant Group received approval for its Shanghai listing last month, while Bloomberg reported that a review for its proposed Hong Kong listing could start as early as next week.

Ant Group is also seeking to raise around $35 billion from the dually listed IPO, Bloomberg's report, which cited anonymous sources said, and the company has added a trio of joint book runners for the Hong Kong portion of it: BOC International, International and .

A spokesperson for Ant Group declined to comment on the details reported by Bloomberg, while Hong Kong’s exchange did not reply to a request for comment outside local business hours.

Ant Group has longstanding ties to Alibaba Group, its Hong Kong IPO filing submitted in August shows, including being controlled by its co-founder, Jack Ma, and with Alibaba owning a 33% stake in the group. The fintech’s business was spun out from Alibaba in 2011, filings from Alibaba and Ant Group have noted.

The fintech’s Hong Kong filing shows that it has seen significant growth in both revenue and profit since 2017, with its newer non-payments services overtaking its older payments segment in terms of revenue contributions. The filing shows that its financial technology platforms segment, which makes up offerings in credit, investment and insurance, made up 63.4% of revenue for the first half 2020, up from 44.3% for 2017. In contrast, the revenue share from the payments segment declined from 54.9% in 2017 to just 35.9% for the first half of 2020.

In recent weeks, the fintech has unveiled new offerings, including an online bank in Hong Kong that it also intends to integrate with AlipayHK, as well a global trade platform called Trusple, which is supported by its blockchain-based unit .

Despite tensions between the U.S. and China threatening to impact the company, the IPO remains highly anticipated. Five mutual funds created to invest in the company's shares reportedly raised CNY 60 billion in proceeds ($8.96 billion).

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