Shanghai Stock Exchange Pauses Ant Group IPO Over Regulatory Concerns

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The Shanghai Stock Exchange has suspended Ant Group’s A-share IPO on its Science and Technology Innovation Board due to significant changes in the regulatory environment for fintech firms that are expected to affect the company. 

The exchange said Tuesday that the changes will create new requirements such as more financial disclosures ahead of IPOs, making it more difficult for fintech companies to list.

The announcement came on the heels of an interview between Jack Ma, founder of Ant Group and four major Chinese financial regulators including the central bank and China Securities and Regulatory Commission. 

Days before the IPO, the four regulators put forward a slew of new regulations that are targeted at fintech companies like Ant Group. In particular, the regulations from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission would further regulate fintech companies’ lending businesses, while requiring more licenses for cross-province transactions and imposing new limitations on the borrowers. 

The twin IPO in Hong Kong and Shanghai has been expected to be the largest ever, raising as much as $37 billion.

Ant Group is known for its major subsidiaries like Alipay and Kakao, but it also has a blockchain arm offering services based on its own AntChain technology.

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