HONG KONG—Ant Group Co., the Chinese financial-technology giant controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, filed listing documents on Tuesday for initial public offerings in Hong Kong and Shanghai, kicking off a process that could see the company go public in the coming months.
The documents revealed detailed financial and operational data about the Hangzhou-based company for the first time. Ant reported net profit of nearly 17 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) in 2019, up sharply from 667 million yuan the previous year. Its first-half profit for the six months to June topped 21 billion yuan.
Ant’s revenue last year totaled 120.6 billion yuan and was up more than 40% from 2018. Revenue for the first six months of 2020 climbed 38% to 72.5 billion yuan from the same period a year ago.
Ant operates Alipay, a popular payments and lifestyle app that many Chinese citizens use for a range of financial transactions. Alipay had 711 million monthly active users as of June and more than one billion annual active users, Ant’s filings said.
The company said about 43% of its 2019 revenue came from what it called digital payments and merchant services. The bulk of its other revenue came from its “digital finance technology platform.” The company charges technology-service fees to banks, asset managers and insurance companies that use Alipay to make loans, and sell mutual funds and other products to customers.
Ant, an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is planning to list on Shanghai’s year-old STAR Market as well as Hong Kong’s stock exchange. The company didn’t disclose how much it plans to raise in the dual IPOs, but the combined proceeds could be in the tens of billions of dollars and Ant could be valued at more than $200 billion when it goes public, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.
The company intends to use its IPO proceeds to expand its user base and for digital services, innovation, research and development, cross-border payment, and other services, its filings said.
Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and China International Capital Corp. were listed as joint sponsors of Ant’s Hong Kong IPO.