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World’s largest IPO halted in China, Ant Group’s dual listing postponed in Shanghai and HK exchanges

Chinese fintech giant Ant Group’s dual listing at Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges, the largest Initial Public Offering in global finance, worth around 35 billion USD, has been delayed just two days ahead from its trading debut, following a meeting of the groups’s co-founder Jack Ma by the Chinese market regulators on Monday.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange has today decided to temporarily postpone the listing of Ant Group. A statement by Shanghai market operator, as quoted by local media, said, A meeting between Ant Group’s senior executives and China’s top financial regulators constituted ‘significant change’ in the regulatory environment, which may lead to the fintech company not fulfilling the listing requirements or disclosure rules of the exchange.

The first day trading of Ant Group’s A-shares in Shanghai and the H-shares in Hong Kong will be postponed, the two exchange operators said in their respective statements. There is no indication as to when the trading will commence, putting in limbo the retail investors’ bids for Ant Group’s shares who have already poured in a combined USD 3 trillion of funds into this dual listing slated for 5th November.
Ant group, the parent company of China’s leading mobile-payment business Alipay, is raising around USD 35 billion stock sale in world’s largest IPO.

Four Chinese regulatory bodies led by The People’s Bank of China (PBC) met on Monday the top executives of Ant group, comprising co-founder Jack Ma, Ant Group chairman Jing Xiandong and its president Hu Xiaoming for regulatory talks, according to a statement by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) late Monday which also participated in the talks. The statement didn’t provide a reason or the content of the meeting. The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange were Chinese regulators in the meeting.

The unexpected regulatory meeting came as China’s top market regulators on Monday released a new set of rules for tight regulations on the country’s rapidly growing micro lending market, a move which experts say, could reduce the profits of the country’s fintech giants and control the funds to small businesses. The draft rules are awaiting public feedback before being considered for enactment.

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