The highly anticipated listing of Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, has been put on ice until the end of next year at the earliest, according to bankers. According to the Financial Times, market players have been counting on Ant, which runs China’s popular Alipay mobile payments service, to be the star in this year’s initial public offerings calendar. It was valued at $60bn in its last financing round in April 2016, more than twice that ascribed to Snap, the vanishing photo app, after its IPO in March. According to one banker, Ant’s IPO has been pushed back to late 2018 or the first half of the following year because of the need to secure regulatory approval and to focus on building the business. Ant has been buying up assets overseas, including in India, South Korea and the US, where it is seeking to acquire MoneyGram.
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