Beijing (PingWest)—On January 11th, a number of U.S.-listed companies, including Ctrip, Baidu, and NetEase, were among those who announced plans to list in Hong Kong, driven by the Chinese tech giant Alibaba’s second Hong Kong listing and a surge in the company’s share price. But people close to Hong Kong stocks say Ant Financial, the giant's fintech arm, maybe the first to list in Hong Kong than Baidu.
Last month, it was reported that Ant Financial plans were listed in both the mainland and Hong Kong in the near future, although Ant Financial responded at the time by dismissing market rumors.
In September 2019, Alibaba acquired a 33 percent stake in Ant Financial for 87.5 billion yuan, according to Alibaba's prospectus to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Then, on December 19th Ant Financial announced a new personnel shake-up: President Hu Xiaoming became CEO and Jing Xiandong continued to serve as chairman of Ant Financial.
Insiders believe that these moves signal that Ant Financial has paved the way for an upcoming initial public offering.