Chinese fintech Ant Group’s upcoming massive initial public offering is seeing strong interest from retail investors, as evidenced by the CNY 60 billion in proceeds ($8.96 billion) raised by five mutual funds created to invest in the company’s shares, Reuters reported Friday.
Overall, the quintet of investment vehicles raised funds from more than 10 million retail investors, Reuters said, citing information from Ant Group unit Alipay, which acted as the only outside distributor for the funds.
The five investment vehicles each had fundraising goals of CNY 12 billion ($1.79 billion) when they launched on Sept. 25, Reuters said, noting that they can each invest as much as 10% of their assets in Ant’s IPO.
Three of the funds were sold out, Reuters said, noting that they are managed by China Universal Asset Management Co., Zhong Ou Asset Management and ChinaAMC. The other two funds, managed by Penghua Fund Management Co. and E Fund Management Co., hit their fundraising goals prior to the Oct. 1 start of China’s National Day holiday, Reuters reported.
Representatives for Ant Group declined to comment.
The fintech is seeking to list its shares on both the Shanghai STAR Market and on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, which it first disclosed in July. The company submitted paperwork to both exchanges in August.
The company’s Hong Kong filing from August shows that a majority of its most recently reported revenue figures no longer come from its established payments division, which came in at just 35.9% for the first six months of 2020, versus 54.9% in 2017. In contrast, its financial technology platforms segment made up 63.4% for the first six months, soaring from a 44.3% share in 2017. The platforms segment, in turn, includes Ant Group’s investment, lending and insurance businesses. The revenue-mix changes came over years when the fintech also reported strong revenue growth and volatile profit changes that made up a multiyear upward trend.
Ant Group is controlled by Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba Group, and Alibaba is a 33% shareholder in the company.
The fintech, which received its Shanghai listing approval last month, has shown no sign of slowing down and unveiled new products in recent weeks, including an online bank in Hong Kong and an international trade platform backed by AntChain, which is its blockchain-based unit.
Update: This story has been update to reflect a response from Ant Group.