Ant Receives Clearance to Grow Its Consumer Finance Operations

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Last Updated on January 4, 2023 by Bitfinsider

Ant Group’s consumer lending subsidiary has gained clearance to more than treble its registered capital, indicating that authorities’ concerns are being addressed.

Ant has been working with Chinese regulators to reorganize its operations after the surprise cancellation of its large IPO in late 2020. Ant, one of China’s two main mobile payment applications, is 33% owned by Alibaba.

Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares rose 8% on Wednesday. New York-listed stocks finished 4.4% higher overnight.

As part of the restructure, Ant established its consumer financing firm in 2021.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission authorized Ant’s proposal to boost the registered capital for the consumer unit from 8 billion yuan to 18.5 billion yuan on Friday.

According to the release, Ant would retain a 50% share in the consumer lending firm. New investors in the other half of the firm include a Hangzhou government-backed organization and Sunny Optical Technology.

It is unclear what the timing, if any, is for reviving IPO aspirations. The People’s Bank of China has yet to grant Ant a financial holding company license. A request for comment from CNBC was not immediately returned.

Ant’s credit operations Huabei and Jiebei are housed in the consumer unit. According to a prospectus, so-called credit tech generated 28.59 billion yuan, or 39.4%, of Ant’s income in the first six months of 2020.

The business had six months to implement the revisions before the capital expansion permit became invalid, according to China’s banking regulator.

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