Chinese Regulator Says It Backs Suspension of Ant’s ‘Hasty’ IPO

China’s top securities watchdog said it supported a decision by the Shanghai Stock Exchange to block a “hasty” initial public offering of Ant Group, which would have been the world’s largest ever stock market listing.

Changes in fintech industry regulations have a “huge impact” on Ant’s operational structure and profit model, China Securities Regulatory Commission said in a statement Wednesday. The move protects investors’ rights and ensures accurate, transparent information disclosure, according to the statement.

Policy makers in Beijing shocked investors on Tuesday by suspending Ant’s listing, a fintech company owned by billionaire Jack Ma. The decision came just two days before the sale was set to raise $35 billion. The move sent shares in Ant shareholder Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. down sharply while leaving brokers and banks with the task of unwinding at least $3 trillion of orders.

Ant can’t proceed with an IPO until after it complies with new capital requirements and other restrictions imposed on the country’s financial conglomerates at the start of the month, people familiar with the matter have said. The CSRC said it will continue to work with the markets regulator in Hong Kong, where Ant was also due to list shares before the IPO was pulled.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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