(Yicai Global) Nov. 4 -- Chinese fintech unicorn Ant Group and e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding have both responded to the suspensions of Ant’s dual listing on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges. Refunds to those subscribing to Ant’s Hong Kong shares will occur in two tranches without any interest, Ant said in its statement yesterday.
Payment for these stocks -- 1 percent of which was for brokers’ commissions, 0.0027 percent was fees to Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission and 0.005 percent trading costs the Hong Kong Stock Exchange charged -- will be refunded without interest, with the first installment today and the other ensuing on Nov. 6.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange suspended Ant's listing just two days before the shares were supposed to start trading on the bourse's Nasdaq-style tech board the StarMarket, citing changes in the regulatory environment. "Your company [Ant] may no longer meet the conditions for offering and listing, or the requirements for information disclosure," the SSE said in its statement yesterday. The bourse accordingly opted to suspend the initial public offering.
“Ant Group was notified by the Shanghai Stock Exchange today that our A-share listing plan on the Shanghai Stock Exchange would be suspended. Consequently, Ant has decided that the concurrent H share listing plan on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange shall also be suspended,” it announced in reply.
The dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong, the world's largest-ever IPOs, would have valued the company at CNY2.1 trillion (USD312.1 billion).
“Ant Group sincerely apologizes to you for any inconvenience caused by this development. We will properly handle the follow-up matters in accordance with applicable regulations of the two stock exchanges,” the Hangzhou-based fintech company said on its official WeChat account yesterday.
“We will overcome the challenges and live up to the trust on the principles of: stable innovation; embrace of regulation; service to the real economy; and win-win cooperation. We will continue to serve small and micro businesses and ordinary citizens with our passion, professionalism and commitment for society,” per the statement.
“We will keep in close communications with the Shanghai Stock Exchange and relevant regulators, and wait for their further notice with respect to further developments of our offering and listing process and disclose in a timely manner,” it added.
The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, China Securities Regulatory Commission and China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange have arranged for talks with Ant’s controller Jack Ma, Jing Xiandong, the group’s chairman, and President Hu Xiaoming, the CSRC announced on Nov. 2.
Matter of Principle
Alibaba [HKG:09988] had slumped by about 7.2 percent to HKD278.20 (USD35.89) in Hong Kong in midafternoon, while Alibaba’s US-traded shares [NYSE:BABA] closed down 8.13 percent at USD285.57 yesterday.
Editor: Ben Armour, Xiao Yi