A massive IPO by Alipay parent Ant Group was suspended by China’s authorities less than 48 hours before trading was set to begin, on concerns the sale failed to meet regulatory requirements for the Shanghai half of its dual listing.
In a statement to the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, which was due to host the other half of its bumper listing, Ant Group said regulators in China had suspended the action and as a result both parts of the sale were paused.
Trading was due to begin on Thursday (5 November) with Financial Times last week reporting demand well outstripped supply.
The company was expected to rake in $37 billion from the listing. Those set to execute the sale reported $2.8 trillion-worth of offers had already been received for the shares.
Ant Group added it “may not meet listing qualifications or disclosure requirements due to material matters relating to the regulatory interview of our ultimate controller, our executive chairman and our CEO by the relevant regulators, and the recent changes in the fintech regulatory environment.”
In it own statement, the Shanghai Stock Exchange confirmed the move was due to potential material changes ahead of the listing.
The shock halt to proceedings is the latest turn in what has been a turbulent and long route to the public listing of the company, which runs one of China’s two dominant financial technology brands.
It reportedly abandoned a plan to list in 2018 under its previous guise of Ant Financial due to uncertainty around the business and regulatory concerns. Having confirmed details of the November listing, last month rumours emerged claiming regulators were looking into potential conflict of interest issues with the sale.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back