SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Five newly launched Chinese funds targeting Ant Group’s upcoming mega stock listing raised 60 billion yuan ($8.93 billion) cumulatively from more than 10 million retail investors, selling out within days, the funds’ distributor said.



graphical user interface, text, application, qr code: FILE PHOTO: Alipay logo is pictured at the Shanghai office of Alipay, owned by Ant Group which is an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, in Shanghai


© Reuters/ALY SONG
FILE PHOTO: Alipay logo is pictured at the Shanghai office of Alipay, owned by Ant Group which is an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, in Shanghai

An average of eight investors placed orders each second during the subscription period, highlighting retail frenzy over Ant’s initial public offering (IPO) despite possible U.S. sanctions against the Chinese fintech giant.

The rush also underscores the marketing clout of Ant’s online payment platform Alipay, the sole third-party distributor of the five mutual funds that threatens to disrupt traditional fund sales models.

Ant , Alibaba Group’s fintech arm, aims to raise about $35 billion in a dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai’s STAR Market, expected in October, in what could become the world’s largest IPO.

The five funds launched on September 25 to raise 12 billion yuan each and invest up to 10% of their assets to buy Ant’s IPO shares as strategic investors.

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Two of the funds, launched by E Fund Management Co and Penghua Fund Management Co, hit their fundraising target even before the week-long Chinese National Day holiday that began on October 1.

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As business resumes on Friday, Alipay announced that the other three funds, managed by China Asset Management Co (ChinaAMC), China Universal Asset Management and Zhong Ou Asset Management Co, were also sold out.

The market has so far brushed aside worries that Ant’s IPO could suffer from any U.S. restrictions,

SHANGHAI, Oct 9 (Reuters)Five newly launched Chinese funds targeting Ant Group’s upcoming mega stock listing raised 60 billion yuan ($8.93 billion) cumulatively from more than 10 million retail investors, selling out within days, the funds’ distributor said.

An average of eight investors placed orders each second during the subscription period, highlighting retail frenzy over Ant’s initial public offering (IPO) despite possible U.S. sanctions against the Chinese fintech giant.

The rush also underscores the marketing clout of Ant’s online payment platform Alipay, the sole third-party distributor of the five mutual funds that threatens to disrupt traditional fund sales models.

Ant IPO-ANTG.HK, Alibaba Group’s BABA.N fintech arm, aims to raise about $35 billion in a dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai’s STAR Market, expected in October, in what could become the world’s largest IPO.

The five funds launched on September 25 to raise 12 billion yuan each and invest up to 10% of their assets to buy Ant’s IPO shares as strategic investors.

Two of the funds, launched by E Fund Management Co and Penghua Fund Management Co, hit their fundraising target even before the week-long Chinese National Day holiday that began on October 1.

As business resumes on Friday, Alipay announced that the other three funds, managed by China Asset Management Co (ChinaAMC), China Universal Asset Management and Zhong Ou Asset Management Co, were also sold out.

The market has so far brushed aside worries that Ant’s IPO could suffer from any U.S. restrictions, after a Bloomberg News report saying U.S. President Donald Trump is considering curbs on Ant and Tencent 0700.HK over concerns their payment platforms threaten national security.

The successful fund sales could give a boost to Ant’s rapidly growing wealth management business. Revenue from this business segment jumped 56% during the first half of

By Scott Murdoch and Julie Zhu

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Ant Group’s $35 billion initial public offering (IPO) is unlikely to suffer from any U.S. restrictions on the Chinese financial technology giant due to its very limited overseas presence, potential investors and analysts said.

U.S. President Donald Trump is considering curbs on Ant, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba

, and Tencent <0700.HK> over concerns their payment platforms threaten national security, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.

If implemented, the restrictions would illustrate how Trump’s administration is seeking to prevent Chinese companies from embedding themselves in the U.S. financial system before they become a significant competitive threat.

Ant said it was not aware of any discussions within the administration about restrictions. Tencent and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ant is working towards a dual-listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong possibly as soon as this month in what sources have said could be the world’s largest IPO, surpassing oil giant Saudi Aramco’s <2222.SE> $29.4 billion float in December.

Ant’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat payment platforms are used primarily by Chinese citizens with accounts in renminbi. Most of their U.S. interactions are with merchants accepting payments from Chinese travelers and businesses in the country.

“Basically the overseas revenue accounts for maybe 5% or less for Ant Group. That means for the U.S. revenue contribution it would be even less than that,” said Morningstar senior equity analyst Chelsey Tam.

“I’m sure investors will ask about it during the roadshow but it’s quite easy for investors to understand that if Alipay and Wechat Pay go overseas the U.S. is probably not the top priority,” Tam said.

Ant, which makes 95% of its revenue in China, is seeking to raise about $35 billion in an IPO after assessing early

(Bloomberg) — The Trump administration’s potential restrictions on two Chinese payments giants would reverberate far beyond politics, potentially affecting multibillion-dollar deals, shaking up international commerce and even shaping the evolution of the global financial system.



a person sitting on display in a store: An advertisement for Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s WeChat Pay digital payment service is displayed outside a restaurant in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. WeChat Pay and Ant Group's Alipay account for the majority of the mobile payments transactions in China.


© Bloomberg
An advertisement for Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat Pay digital payment service is displayed outside a restaurant in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. WeChat Pay and Ant Group’s Alipay account for the majority of the mobile payments transactions in China.

U.S. officials have stepped up behind-the-scenes talks in recent weeks about possibly restricting the expansion of Ant Group’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat Pay over concerns that the digital payment platforms threaten national security, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

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Read more: U.S. explores curbs on Ant Group, Tencent payment systems

If the administration proceeds, the most immediate hit would be to Ant Group’s plan for a stock listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong, a deal that could rank as the world’s largest initial public offering. Some international companies have been working with the payment apps and could see those strategies hurt or derailed. And while restrictions may ultimately head off potent competitors to U.S. and European banks, it could also — depending on how China responds — thwart their own planned expansion into the world’s second-largest economy.

Here’s a breakdown of the many companies with business at stake as President Donald Trump’s administration weighs its decision:

Ant’s IPO

Investors have been eager to pile into Jack Ma’s Ant Group. After gauging early interest, the company is seeking to raise at least $35 billion in its IPO, people familiar with the matter have said, potentially topping Saudi Aramco’s record $29 billion sale. Ant lifted the target based on an increased valuation of about $250 billion, which would exceed the market

Ant Group and its advisers are getting creative as they attempt to score the world’s largest initial public offering amid a coronavirus pandemic as well as a first-of-its-kind simultaneous listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Known for upending the financial industry across China with its easy-to-use payments app Alipay, the unicorn is now bringing its innovative culture to bear on capital-markets challenges such as meshing together the regulatory timetables and securities’ settlement cycles of two exchanges.

These are ultimately logistical and technical problems for Ant to crack or plan around as it steadily moves forward with its jumbo IPO. China’s regulators remain keen to help a national technology champion secure funding for growth, and investors are clamouring to own its shares.

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Ant’s solutions to the problems it encounters will smooth the path for other Chinese companies looking to tap mainland investors via Shanghai’s fledgling Star Market, and international investors on Hong Kong’s stock exchange.

An employee sits in front of a mural at the Ant Group headquarters in Hangzhou, China. Photo: Bloomberg alt=An employee sits in front of a mural at the Ant Group headquarters in Hangzhou, China. Photo: Bloomberg

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a sea change in how companies conduct capital raising globally this year. Ant’s IPO, given its size, will take the digitisation of deals to a new level.

While Ant’s management and advisers will be able to meet in person with several mainland Chinese investors, given that infection numbers have plummeted from levels seen earlier this year, overseas travel is impractical, people familiar with the process said.

Instead, Ant and its advisers plan to embark on a digital roadshow, speaking over video with international investors. Ant will be