Legal Law

Ant, bruised

The current record holder for the world’s largest IPO had a pretty bad day. The company that was striving for his crown had a worse one. Much, much worse.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange has suspended the IPO of the Ant Group, the spin-off from the internet finance company of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. This was an extraordinary twist on what is expected to be the biggest stock sale in history.

A meeting convened by four financial regulators on Monday changed that. People’s Bank of China, China Banking and Insurance Commission, China Securities Commission, and the State Foreign Exchange Administration announced late that day that they had called Mr. Ma, Ant’s CEO Eric Jing, and its chief executive Simon Hu to a meeting without To provide information.

Ant said Monday that the meeting “exchanged views on the health and stability of the financial sector,” and that it would include regulation and service to China’s economy and its citizens.

It seems that Jack Ma – no stranger to record-breaking IPOs – is growing a little too big for his British for Xi Jinping.

Mr Ma did not ingratiate himself with the authorities when he said in a recent speech in Shanghai that financial regulators’ excessive focus on risk mitigation could stifle innovation.

The head of consumer protection at China’s banking regulator Guo Wuping hit back on Monday and named two popular features in Alipay in a harshly critical article in the 21st Century Business Herald, a state newspaper.

China stops Ant Group’s blockbuster IPO [NYT]Ant’s record IPO suspended on Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges [WSJ]Aramco sticks to dividend of 18.75 billion US dollars despite a sharp drop in profits [WSJ]

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