New funds raise US$9 billion for Ant IPO
Five newly launched Chinese funds targeting Ant Group’s upcoming mega stock listing raised 60 billion yuan (US$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 despite possible United States 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 US$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 percent 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 eight-day Chinese National Day holiday that began on October 1.
As business resumed on Friday, Alipay announced that the other three funds, managed by China Asset Management Co, China Universal Asset Management and Zhong Ou Asset Management Co, also sold out.
The market has so far brushed aside worries that Ant’s IPO could suffer from any US restrictions, after a report said that Trump administration officials are considering curbs on Ant and Tencent over national security concerns.