Even as fintech giant Ant Group is being probed for a possible “conflict of interest,” the company has raised its IPO valuation to $280 billion.
This comes after Ant Group raised the valuation from $225 billion to $250 billion in September.
Under the new terms, Bloomberg said, Ant Group would be worth triple the valuation of Citigroup (NYSE: C).
The massive listing would not only shatter its parent Alibaba Group's (NYSE: BABA; HKEX: 9988) $25 billion listing in 2014 but Saudi Aramco's record-breaking $29.4 billion it raised in January 2020.
Ant needs approval from both the CSRC and Hong Kong before the United States presidential election in early November—which could cause uncertainties in the global markets. In September, Ant received the green light from Shanghai. Hong Kong's stock exchange will reportedly have a hearing next week pending regulatory approval.
Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte plans to invest more than $1 billion in the listings, according to sources.
Responding to the reports the IPO would be delayed, Ant said it was making progress with its regulatory approvals.
Meanwhile, Ant also faces trouble in the United States. The Jack Ma-controlled fintech company could potentially face restrictions due to national security concerns over its mobile wallet app. Additionally, Marco Rubio, the U.S. Senator, told Reuters late last week that the Trump administration should try to postpone Ant’s IPO.
“It’s outrageous that Wall Street is rewarding the Chinese Communist Party’s blatant crackdown on Hong Kong’s freedom and autonomy by orchestrating Ant Group’s IPO on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges,” the Senator said in a statement to Reuters late last week.
Shares of Alibaba closed at $307.31 apiece in New York today, up 2.65%. In Hong Kong, it ended at HK$294 per share, up 3.23%.