Ants & Uncles
Uncle Wang has declared Ant financial rehabilitated, a rogue fintech no more, but rather a well-regulated holding company. Call the institution "Chongqing Ant", if you please, as their consumer finance biz will be run by two microlending units registered and regulated in Chongqing. The two units, Huabei and Jiebei, will soon exit, leaving Chongqing Ant king of its farm.
How many crumbs from China's booming online finance picnic can the reformed Ant bring back to that farm? It can lend to individuals, issue bonds, sell insurance, invest in fixed income, and even provide consumer finance consulting. A robust range of opportunity. But will it be enough to reignite the China fintech investment furnaces?
"I believe this is a watershed moment for the return of China fintech as a hot prospect," says Edward Lehman. "Of course, the transition has not yet taken place, so reaction is guarded. But I believe when the first consolidated financial reports are out, you'll see a significant uptick in interest in China's fintech scene, with boosted pre and post IPO investment to follow."