• Ernie Diaz

That Little Old Ant

Ant Financial’s high hopes for a bright and timely IPO will be further clouded by regulators planning to “hold discussions” (give a stern talking to) about the hazards of fintech monopolies for economic stability.

Whether you can see the sense of being concerned over a payment platform with 1.3b users lending out money at multiples higher than regular banks are allowed to, or hold to a juicier narrative, that China’s leaders feel threatened by fintech’s innovative cheek, is beside the point, materially speaking.

Right now, the cracking of Ant and other fintech cugliones is having a phantom pain effect, as Chinese IPO hopefuls flinch reflexively, and their valuations drop accordingly.

“Whatever your take on the situation, the larger story is that the Chinese government is 100% behind the increase in tech unicorns, and their listing on the Star Market or in Hong Kong,” says Jimmie Jeremejev 向荣. “But you can even see the effect on companies planning on a US listing, such as Manbang being offered at around $12b now, as opposed to $14b a week ago. For pre-IPO investors, it’s a good chance to grab more upside on companies not in government crosshairs, but nonetheless affected by the panic.”

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