Date
20 September 2017
The Alipay app and the website for Yu' E Bao are displayed on an iPhone 5s and iPad respectively. Photo: Bloomberg
The Alipay app and the website for Yu' E Bao are displayed on an iPhone 5s and iPad respectively. Photo: Bloomberg

Alibaba in talks for HK version of Yu’E Bao money market fund

Alibaba is looking to start a Hong Kong version of its popular Chinese money market fund, which pays higher rates on renminbi deposits than are available on conventional accounts.

Its Alipay financial unit is in talks with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority about securing authorisation to offer a local version of its Yu’E Bao money market fund, according to the Financial Times. The Yu’E Bao fund was launched in June last year and had attracted more than 574 billion yuan (US$94 billion) a year later.

The move underscores Alibaba’s determination to take its template to the world beyond China, now that it has completed its record US$25 billion initial public offering in New York.

If Alibaba receives approval from both Hong Kong and China, the funds would be invested in the mainland in order to achieve higher returns. The group says it believes it could offer 4 percent returns, compared with the 1 percent currently available.

“We are hoping to introduce it by early next year,” said Ming Shu, who is responsible for micro and SME finance for Alipay, which is also China’s largest online payments provider. “And if we can send the money back to China, we can make a big difference. We are pushing hard.”

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