After the record for the world's biggest IPO was just broken in December when Saudi state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco went public on the Riyadh stock exchange, payment provider Ant Financial is all set to break that record by collecting almost $34.5 billion in an IPO that is taking place in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The maker of top Chinese payment app Alipay will terminate its institutional book building in Hong Kong early, signaling demand is in fact strong enough to reach the expected result.
Saudi Aramco's IPO brought in a little less - $29.4 billion - after expansion of the original number of shares. Yet, less than 2 percent of the company became public in the process, while Ant Financial is going for 11 percent. The Saudi's offering was part of a larger plan to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil. Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s “Vision 2030” economic reform plan is looking to invest the money raised through the IPO in diversifying the country’s economy.
The Ant Financial IPO would see another Chinese company added to the list of the biggest IPOs ever. Three Chinese companies are already among the current top 5, while the first U.S. company comes in rank 7.