Retail investors placed bids for a record 3 trillion of shares in Ant Group Co Ltd39;s initial public offering IPO, set to be the world39;s biggest, as momandpop savers bet on demand for its financial services in China.
Ant39;s dual listing is set to raise about 34.4 billion, split fairly evenly between Shanghai39;s STAR Market and Hong Kong, topping Saudi Aramco39;s 29.4 billion listing last December.
Investors, both retail and institutional, are rushing to buy into Ant, which operates Chinas biggest payments platform and other financial services, despite risks of greater scrutiny at home and abroad.
The Shanghai leg of the IPO drew about 19 trillion yuan 2.8 trillion of bids from retail investors, or 872 times the number of shares earmarked for them, a company filing to the stock exchange showed on Thursday.
The Hong Kong tranche got HK1.3 trillion 168 billion in bids, or 389 times the shares on offer, said people with knowledge of the matter on Friday, declining to be identified as the information is not public yet.
The bookbuilding for the Hong Kong leg of the IPO of Ant, backed by ecommerce behemoth Alibaba, ran from Monday to Friday, while books for the Shanghai leg were open for one day on Thursday.
The 3 trillion of retail investor bids, equivalent to the gross domestic product of the United Kingdom, comes against the backdrop of shaky global markets ahead of next weeks U.S. presidential election and a dour global economic outlook.
Investors in the IPO,…