(Yicai Global) Feb. 1 -- Ant Financial Services Group, financial services arm of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., will buy a stake in Tianjin Climate Exchange, China's first environmental equity trading agency. The deal will elevate the Exchange's registered capital to CNY178 million (USD28.2 million) from CNY100 million if it goes through.
Both parties signed an agreement on capital increase and share-offering program in Beijing yesterday, online media Xinhua08.com reported. Tianjin Climate Exchange publicly invited investors via the Shanghai United Assets and Equity Exchange last November and ultimately picked Ant Financial's Shanghai Yunxin Venture Capital as its investor.
Tianjin Climate Exchange was jointly set up by state-owned energy giant China National Petroleum Corporation and Tianjin Property Rights Exchange, or TPRE, in 2008. It aims to help companies save energy and reduce emissions via market mechanisms and financial innovations by allowing them to trade their rights to emit greenhouse gases and pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
Ant Financial's investment will help improve the Exchange's capital strength and ability to serve the market, said Kong Xiaoyan, director of TPRE, adding that it also reflects common aspirations of the central government and private sector to promote green and sustainable economic development.
Founded in 2014, Ant Financial is the operator of China's mainstream third-party payment service Alipay and an important platform for Alibaba to make equity investment, pumping money into startup companies. The market estimates its valuation at USD60 billion.