Ant’s IPO fiasco set to clip its wings and dent its value

China’s surprise suspension of Ant Group’s record $37 billion listing is likely to delay rather than destroy its chances of a stock market debut though the financial technology giant’s valuation and growth prospects are set to take a hit…

The last-minute ambush by China’s regulators was seen by analysts and investors as an attempt to cut Ant founder Jack Ma and his financial services empire down to size but they expected it to eventually list in Hong Kong and Shanghai as planned.

“Ant’s business is likely to be restricted by new financial regulations. As a result, the relaunched IPO price will most likely be lowered,” said Andrew Collier, managing director of Orient Capital Research.

Ant has been trying to present itself as a technology firm rather than a financial giant and its valuation up until now has benefited from its tech focus.

But Chinese regulators have become uncomfortable with parts of its sprawling empire – namely its lucrative online lending business which contributed almost 40% of its overall revenue in the first half of the year.

Under draft rules published on Monday, online lenders in China would have to…

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