Ant IPO exposes new fault lines in China banking

Ant Financial’s expected IPO a key moment for China’s financial reforms as it shows how fintech is upending the competitive landscape for traditional lenders, both private and state-owned.
Jack Ma calls halt to SOE stranglehold
Jack Ma calls halt to SOE stranglehold

Ant Financial Services Group, an arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is generating excitement among bankers and investors as it gears up for an initial public offering that could be next year’s biggest deal in financial technology.

The biggest winner from a listing could be Ant, or parent Alibaba, or investors, or underwriters. Or it could be China’s smaller companies, currently starved of credit. Ant’s listing is therefore an important milestone for the Chinese government’s ongoing programme to reorient the economy by transferring wealth from state-owned enterprises to the private sector.

Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent and JD.com have all capitalised on their success in e-commerce by boosting their...

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