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China's National Pension Fund Keen To Play 'active' Role In Ant Group's IPO

Shanghai Bund summit told that allocating shares to National Council for Social Security Fund will be like 'allocating shares to the whole Chinese people' Jack Ma, founder of online payments giant, previously told event the listing will be the world's biggest initial public offering

China's National Pension Fund Keen To Play 'active' Role In Ant Group's IPO

China's national pension fund has said it will be "very active" in the world's biggest initial public offering from Ant Group, the online payments giant.

Chen Wenhui, a vice-chairman of the National Council for Social Security Fund, made the comments at an event at the Bund Summit in Shanghai on Sunday with Eric Jing, Ant's executive chairman.

"We are looking forward to the subscription quota and shares that Chairman Jing will allocate to us," Chen said. "I am trying to convince him that if they allocate shares to us, it's the same as allocating the shares to the whole Chinese people."

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Jing, who told the event the partnership between Ant and the national social security fund would be a "wonderful" deal, said: "On one hand, we've created long-term stable returns for the Chinese people via the National Council for Social Security Fund; and on the other hand, we provide the people with good products and services through innovation."

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Jing did not elaborate on the dual listing of Ant in Hong Kong and Shanghai in his main speech.

Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and Ant, said on Saturday that the pricing of Ant offering had been decided on Friday night and it would be the biggest ever initial public offering.

The South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, reported earlier that key analysts have valued Ant Group as high as US$450 billion.

The national social security fund has a 2.93 per cent equity stake in Ant Group. If the valuation of Ant is US$450 billion, its stake would be worth about US$13.2 billion, or over 10 times its original 2015 investment.

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Jing said that the "new finance" of the future will be driven by technology and called for traditional financial institutions and tech companies to work together.

He said it was "inevitable" that they would "join hands for win-win cooperation" and gave the example of the Apple Card, a credit card issued last year by Apple and Goldman Sachs.

At the same time, in an apparent move to soothe concerns of banks, Jing said that banks would not have to give up control of their data.

"In the early days, we had tried to build up a data pool, to which we can feed in raw data," he said. "That's no longer necessarily the case. Everyone can keep their own data, but we can still create value."

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