SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Alibaba founder Jack Ma said on Saturday “the Chinese finance technology Ant Group would be the largest in the world, according to prices set on Friday night“.
“It’s the first time pricing for such a listing – the largest in human history – has been set outside New York City“, he added at the Bund summit in Shanghai’s eastern financial hub.
“We didn’t dare to think about it five years ago, or even three years ago” he told the audience, which included officials from the Chinese regulators. “But a miracle just happened“.
He did not give exact details of the price expected to be officially announced next week.
Supported by Chinese e-commerce Alibaba, Ant plans to list in both Hong Kong and Shanghai’s Star Market in the coming weeks.
Sources said that the listing could be worth $35 billion, exceeding the record set by Saudi Aramco when it was put up for $29.4 billion last December.
Jack Ma said “the financial and regulatory system is stifling innovation“, and he encouraged for innovation to expand financial services; in order to include more start-up businesses and individuals on a technological basis.
Ma also added: “The world order created after World War II is outdated, which was and still avoiding risks”, describing the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision as a “man’s club” and warning that risks are accumulating in the entire economy.
He said “banks in China are still operating with “bet desk”, requiring collateral before lending, a model that would fail to support future growth“.
Instead, he said, “a new comprehensive and global banking system that lends to small businesses and individuals must be created on the basis of big data“.
Ant, which does large-scale payments and microlending business that relies largely on big data, is facing increased scrutiny from regulators. “Today’s financial system is the legacy of the industrial age, and we must create a new generation for the next generation and the youth. We must reform the current system” Ma said.