Date
14 August 2018
Ant Financial is expected to be valued at around US$150 billion, making it one of the most valuable financial companies in the world. Photo: Reuters
Ant Financial is expected to be valued at around US$150 billion, making it one of the most valuable financial companies in the world. Photo: Reuters

Ant Financial raises US$14 billion to bolster global push

Ant Financial Services Group, operator of China’s biggest online payment platform, said on Friday it has raised around US$14 billion from investors including Singapore’s sovereign fund and US private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, Reuters reports.

The capital-raising should boost the firm’s financial firepower ahead of a widely expected initial public offering, though Ant has neither publicly set a timetable nor chosen a likely stock exchange.

In a statement, Ant listed Singaporean sovereign fund GIC Pte Ltd. and state investor Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd. as participants in the financing round.

Ant did not release details of the firm’s valuation following the round, but Reuters reported earlier that it was expected to be valued at around US$150 billion, making it one of the most valuable financial companies in the world.

The funding includes both US dollar and Chinese yuan tranches, with the dollar share widely expected to make up the majority.

Ant said the funds would be used to speed up globalization plans for its Alipay payment platform and to invest in developing technology.

“Now, with the help of our partners, we are going to accelerate our strategy,” Ant chief executive Eric Jing said in a statement.

Ant, spun off from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. before the e-commerce firm’s 2014 public listing, provides a range of financial services including payment and credit services, wealth management products and micro-loans.

The company has expanded its overseas services aggressively ahead of the expected IPO, with targeted efforts in India and Southeast Asia.

The firm has since begun to shift efforts away from consumer finance to focus on technology services amid increased scrutiny of financial risk by Chinese regulators.

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CG

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