Financial Regulators Summon Jack Ma Ahead of Mega Listing
China’s top financial regulators held a meeting with top executives of Ant Group Co. Ltd., including billionaire founder Jack Ma, just ahead of the fintech giant’s $34.5 billion public offering.
Ma, the controlling shareholder of Ant, and Chairman Eric Jing and Chief Executive Officer Simon Hu were summoned for a regulatory interview by the People’s Bank of China, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the regulators said Monday in a brief statement, without providing further details.
Ant is preparing for a concurrent listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong that is expected to be the world’s largest. The company is set to begin trading Thursday.
Policymakers are paying more attention to the stability and security of the country’s booming fintech sector. In an Oct. 31 meeting chaired by Vice Premier Liu He, officials called for proper supervision to effectively manage risks while encouraging innovation.
Some viewed the remarks from the Oct. 31 meeting as a response to a speech delivered recently by Ma criticizing current regulations for hampering innovation in the name of preventing risks. His comments sparked debate among financial professionals.
“Ant will implement the meeting opinions in depth,” Ant said in a statement. The company will continue improving services of inclusive finance and supporting the economic and social development, the fintech giant said.
Ant’s mega IPO has stoked a buying frenzy in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The company last week said subscriptions of the retail portion in Shanghai exceeded supply by more than 872 times.
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