May 18, 2024

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The Ant stock buyback plan values ​​the company at $79 billion by Reuters

The Ant stock buyback plan values ​​the company at $79 billion by Reuters

© Reuters. A file photo of the Ant Group logo on July 6, 2023. REUTERS/Ali Song/

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Ant Group announced a share buyback plan on Saturday valuing the fintech giant at 567.1 billion yuan ($78.54 billion).

This marks a sharp drop in value from more than $300 billion that was credited to the company in mid-2020, ahead of the IPO withdrawal scheduled for later that year.

Ant said it has proposed to all its shareholders to buy back up to 7.6% of its equity stake at a collective valuation price of about 567.1 billion yuan.

The company added that Ant’s major shareholders, Hangzhou Junhan Equity Investment Partnership and Hangzhou Junao Equity Investment Partnership, had voluntarily chosen not to buy back.

China’s central bank said on Friday that financial regulators will fine Ant and its subsidiaries 7.12 billion yuan, in a move that marks the end of a years-long regulatory review of fintech and a major step in ending an assault against the country’s internet sector.

Founded by billionaire Jack Ma, Ant runs the ubiquitous mobile payment app Alipay, as well as insurance product distribution and consumer lending businesses, among others.

In April 2021, Ant embarked on a deep restructuring, which included converting it into a financial holding company subjecting it to bank-like standards and capital requirements.

Ant’s sentence clears the way for the fintech company to obtain a financial holding company license, focus on boosting growth and eventually revive its plans to go public.

($1 = 7.2205 yuan)

(Reporting by Brenda Goh and Zhang Yan. Editing in Spanish by Javier Lira)

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