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Alibaba Finance Arm Ant Financial Plans 2017 IPO – Forbes

Alibaba Group’s financial affiliate is planning an initial public offering in mainland China in 2017, reported the state-run Shanghai Securities News, citing documents it obtained from asset management firm CDH Investments.

Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group is valued at $ 35 billion to $ 40 billion. Before going public, it is raising 20 to 25 billion yuan in a private placement with investors including China’s National Social Security Fund, Postal Savings Bank of China and CDB Capital, the investment arm of China Development Bank, according to Shanghai Securities News.

Investors in the initial round of fundraising will buy a total of 10% of Ant Financial through a fund sold by CDH Investments, reported the newspaper.

Miranda Shek, an Ant Financial spokeswoman, says the company doesn’t have an IPO timetable. CDH didn’t respond to emailed requests for comment.

In November, Alibaba Group’s executive chairman Jack Ma said the finance services arm will “definitely go public.” Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai said later that Alibaba is looking to list the Ant Financial Services Group on mainland exchanges.

Alibaba’s record $25 billion IPO last year didn’t include Ant Financial. Under the terms of a revised profit-sharing agreement in August, the group shares 37.5% of Ant Financial’s profit and can in the future take a direct stake in it.

Ant Financial, which processes Alibaba’s payment system Alipay, also runs Yu’E Bao, a fund that controls more than 570 billion yuan. It is also looking to launch an Internet bank in June, Yu Shengfa, Ant Financial’s vice president, said in January.

The spinoff of Alipay in 2011 has prompted heavy criticism from shareholder Yahoo, who said it wasn’t consulted at the time.

Alibaba Finance Arm Ant Financial Plans 2017 IPO – Forbes}

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