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Alibaba shares drop after Jack Ma’s Ant Group says no plan for IPO

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Ant Group, founded by billionaire Jack Ma, scrapped its IPO in November 2020 after regulators flagged concerns with the corporate. Since then, the corporate has been ordered to rectify its business. Ant Group said that a revived IPO will not be on the cards yet.

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Alibaba shares dropped 8% on Thursday after financial affiliate Ant Group said it currently has no plans to revive an IPO, and a key regulator said it had not conducted an evaluation on a possible listing.

Ant Group, which is controlled by billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma, had its IPO pulled in November 2020 after regulators flagged concerns with the corporate. The twin listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai would have been the most important IPO in history.

Since then, Ant Group has been ordered by regulators to rectify its business to comply with Chinese rules, including organising a financial holding company.

On Thursday, Bloomberg reported Chinese financial regulators have commenced early stage discussions about reviving the IPO, citing people conversant in the matter. Reuters reported that Chinese leadership has given the green light for an inventory.

But Ant Group said there are not any plans for an IPO.

“Under the guidance of regulators, we’re focused on steadily moving forward with our rectification work and shouldn’t have any plan to initiate an IPO,” a spokesperson for the corporate told CNBC on Thursday.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), which can green light listings, said in an announcement on Thursday it had not conducted “evaluation and research work” regarding a possible Ant Group IPO. The CSRC added that it supports eligible platform corporations going public at home and abroad.

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