Retail investors placed bids for a record $3 trillion of shares in Ant Group Co Ltd’s initial public offering (IPO), set to be the world’s biggest, as mom-and-pop savers bet on demand for its financial services in China.
Ant’s dual listing is set to raise about $34.4 billion, split fairly evenly between Shanghai’s STAR Market and Hong Kong, topping Saudi Aramco’s $29.4 billion listing last December.
Investors, both retail and institutional, are rushing to buy into Ant, which operates China’s biggest payments platform and other financial services, despite risks of greater scrutiny at home and abroad.
The Shanghai leg of the IPO drew about 19 trillion yuan ($2.8 trillion) of bids from retail investors, or 872 times the number of shares earmarked for them, a company filing to the stock exchange showed on Thursday.
The Hong Kong tranche got HK$1.3 trillion ($168 billion) in bids, or 389 times the shares on offer, said people with knowledge of the matter on Friday, declining to be identified as the information is not public yet.
The bookbuilding for the Hong Kong leg of the IPO of Ant, backed by e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, ran from Monday to Friday, while books for the Shanghai leg were open for one day on Thursday.