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Ant Group Is Said to Pick CICC as Sponsor for its Shanghai IPO

Bloomberg News

(Bloomberg) -- Ant Group, the parent of China’s largest mobile payment company, has picked China International Capital Corp. for its Shanghai initial public offering, adding to the broker’s role as a sponsor for its Hong Kong share sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Chinese investment bank has been selected as a sponsor, the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is private. Ant could submit its filing for a dual listing as soon as this month, another person familiar said.

Ant Group, formerly known as Ant Financial, is worth $210 billion based on Bernstein estimates. Investment banks have been vying for a role on the Hangzhou company’s listing, to gain revenue and boost their ranking in closely watched league tables.

Details of the offering could change as deliberations are ongoing, people have said. Ant declined to comment in an emailed statement. A representative for CICC declined to comment.

Ant is continuing to hold discussions on its Shanghai offerings and more sponsors may be added at a later date. But most global banks could be left off the mainland leg because of a rule that requires sponsors to co-invest in the sale.

Ant has picked CICC, Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley for its Hong Kong listing, which could raise more than $10 billion, people have said.

The firm is backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. It’s been accelerating its evolution into an online mall for everything from loans and travel services to food delivery, in tight competition with rival Tencent Holdings Ltd.

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