Jack Ma's Ant Group Marches Toward Potential Record IPO

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Ant Group, the Chinese financial-technology giant controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, is marching closer to what could be a record-breaking initial public offering.

The company on Tuesday formally filed for an IPO in Hong Kong and Shanghai to fund its expansion plans. Ant, the online payments arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group (BABA) - Get Report, will use the proceeds from the sale to expand cross-border payments and enhance its research and development capabilities, it said in the filing.

The company did not provide a share price range or amount to be raised in the IPO, though expectations are that it is looking to raise around $30 billion, topping Saudi Aramco’s record $29 billion IPO.

As part of the filing, the Chinese financial-technology giant revealed how profitable its business has been, posting profit of more than $2 billion in the fourth quarter alone.

Other previously unknown details about Ant, particularly surrounding Alipay, were also revealed on Tuesday.

According to the filing, Alipay’s total transaction volume reached 118 trillion yuan ($17 trillion) in the 12 months ended in June, with more than 1 billion users and 711 million monthly active users utilizing the payment and transaction service.

More than 80 million merchants leveraged the Alipay app to conduct business, and Ant partnered with more than 2,000 financial institutions, according to the filing.

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