Chinese financial technology giant Ant Group is set to make history with the world’s largest stock market debut by selling shares worth about $34.4bn (£26.5bn) on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets.
Ant which is an online payments business backed by Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of e-commerce platform Alibaba, is only selling about 11pc of its shares. But the pricing values the whole business at about $313bn.
Advisers to Ant set the share price on Monday amid reports of very strong demand from major investors. The previous largest debut was Saudi Aramco’s $29.4bn float last December.
Mr. Ma’s owns about $17bn worth of Ant shares taking his net worth to close to $80bn and confirming him as China’s richest man.
Ant runs Alipay, the dominant online payment system in China and also offers wealth management, insurance, and money transfer services.
Major investors to have signed up to the share offering ahead of flotation, scheduled for 5 November, including Singapore state investor Temasek Holding and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds GIC and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.