In a surprising setback, Ant Group's $37 billion listing has been suspended in both Shanghai and Hong Kong just two days before it was set to make the world's largest-ever stock market debut.
The Shanghai stock exchange first announced that it had suspended Ant's initial public offering (IPO) on its STAR market, prompting Ant to also freeze the Hong Kong leg of the dual listing.
Ant said that its listing had been suspended by Shanghai following a recent interview regulators held with its founder Jack Ma and top executives. It said that it may not meet listing qualifications or disclosure requirements, and also cited recent changes in the fintech regulatory environment.
Shanghai described Ant's meeting with Chinese financial regulators as a "major event".
In a record public sale of shares, Ant Group raised about $37 billion via IPO including the greenshoe option of the domestic leg. It was set to go public in Hong Kong and Shanghai on Thursday.
At $37 billion from the dual listing, the Ant Group IPO was biggest IPO ever anywhere in the world.
The current record for the biggest IPO is being held by Saudi Aramco's $29.4 billion issue held in 2019.
Ant Group's listing was to be split equally between the exchanges of Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Ant Group, formerly known as Ant Financial and Alipay, is an affiliate of the Alibaba Group from China. It operates Alipay, the world's largest mobile and online payments platform and Yu'e Bao, the world's largest money-market fund. It also runs Sesame Credit, a third-party credit rating system.