Ant Group’s world-leading IPO still possible, says Chinese investor

Liu Qiang, Vice President of Fosun Technology and Financial Group, Deputy Chairman of Hani Securities, speaks with Arjun Kharpal, Senior Correspondent of CNBC, during Day 1 of CNBC East Tech West at LN Garden Hotel Nansha Guangzhou on November 17, 2020 in Nansha, Guangzhou, China.

Zhong Zhi | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Ant Group is still capable of clinching the world’s largest IPO — even as Chinese regulatory hurdles weigh heavily on the financial technology giant, says one of the country’s major investors.

Liu Qiang, vice president of Fosun Technology and Financial Group, which owns a small stake in Ant Group, said the fintech giant’s underlying technology and access to an ecosystem of underserved customers remains a strong investment proposition.

“I still believe they can create the record,” Liu, who is also deputy chairman of Hani Securities, told CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal on Tuesday. He was speaking as part of CNBC’s annual East Tech West conference, which is being held this year both remotely and on the ground in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China.

Increased financial regulation

Liu Qiang, Vice President of Fosun Technology and Financial Group, Deputy Chairman of Hani Securities, speaks during Day 1 of CNBC East Tech West at LN Garden Hotel Nansha Guangzhou on November 17, 2020 in Nansha, Guangzhou, China.

Zhong Zhi | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Ant Group, for its part, can handle that pressure, said Liu.

He noted that it’s “one of the few” companies that can successfully manage “all three dimensions” required of a financial technology company: capital flow, data flow, and commerce flow. However, he declined to put a price on any subsequent listing.

“I can’t predict how much they can raise. That depends on the capital markets,” he said.

A post-Covid opportunity

The postponement comes against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen a rapid embrace of financial technology services, especially in China. Ant Group is poised to take advantage of that uptick with its large ecosystem of small merchant customers, said Liu.

I think the authorities will keep looking at the market and give directions for development.

Liu Qiang

vice president, Fosun Technology and Financial Group

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