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Jack Ma's Ant plans dual IPO worth $200 billion

Shanghai: Chinese billionaire Jack Ma's Ant Group is planning to go public in Hong Kong and Shanghai with a valuation of $200 billion, people familiar with the matter said, kicking off a much-anticipated market debut for China's leader in internet finance.

The parent of China's largest mobile payment company will pursue a simultaneous dual-listing in Hong Kong and on the Shanghai stock exchange's STAR board, the Hangzhou-based firm said, in what promises to be one of the largest debuts in years. Ant is already more richly valued than most Wall Street firms and, if conditions are favourable, it could seek to raise more in its IPOs than Saudi Aramco's record $29 billion haul, one of the people said, asking not to be identified talking about a private deal.

Ant has been accelerating its evolution into an online mall for everything from loans and travel services to food delivery, in a bid to claw back shoppers lost to Tencent Holdings. Ant's Chief Executive Officer Simon Hu has said that he wants people to think of Alipay as more than just a niche provider of financial services and the payments gateway for the world's biggest e-commerce platform.

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