Ant Group IPO could get back on track if it resolves issues, China’s central bank governor suggests


A logo of Ant Group is pictured at the headquarters of the company, an affiliate of Alibaba, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China October 29, 2020.

Aly Song | Reuters

GUANGZHOU, China — Ant Group’s initial public offering (IPO) could resume if the company resolves its issues, China’s central bank governor hinted on Tuesday.

The Ant Group IPO, which would have been the biggest in history, was pulled by regulators just days before it was due to begin trading in Shanghai and Hong Kong in November.

At the time, the Shanghai Stock Exchange said Ant Group reported ”significant issues such as the changes in financial technology regulatory environment” that meant it might fall foul of listing rules.

The suspension of the IPO also came shortly after Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, which owns roughly a third of Ant Group, made some comments that appeared critical of China’s financial regulator.

During a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), called the situation a “complicated issue,” emphasizing the process is “rule by law” and needs to follow “legal procedure.”

Ant Group will need to address issues such as user privacy, Yi added.

“I would say that this a process and .. (once the) problem solved, it will go back to the track to continue the consideration according to law,” Yi said.

When asked if this would lead to an IPO, Yi said Ant Group should “just follow the standard of legal structure you will have the result.”

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