Ant’s IPO should have put Jack Ma at the top of the list of Asian riches, but after China suspended the blockbuster launch, his luck was on a decline.
Jack Ma is poised to become Asia’s richest man with Ant Group Co.’s public offering of shares. Instead, his net worth has fallen and both institutional and retail investors betting on a big first-day sale are in limbo.
The number of shares Ma holds in US-traded shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. dropped about $ 3 billion in value at 11:54 am Tuesday morning after Ant said its listings in both Shanghai and Hong Kong had been suspended. Alibaba’s US custody revenue fell 9.7% in transactions in New York, its highest level since March 16.
Ma, a 56-year-old former English teacher who co-founded China’s largest e-commerce company with $ 60,000, is likely to rise with Ant’s plan to sell $ 35 billion in stock.
The most anticipated IPO in many years, attracting at least $ 3 trillion of orders for dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The stock scramble fueled predictions of a first-day leap and sparked a frenetic wave among individual investors in China demanding to buy a piece. The sale will also boost the fortunes of an early group of investors and employees, with more than a dozen others expected to become billionaires.
Ma owns 4.2% of Alibaba, which owns about a third of the fintech company that is expected to start trading on Thursday. The Shanghai Stock Exchange suspended Ant’s listing after Ma was called in by related agencies for a “supervisory interview,” it said in a statement Tuesday. Ant said the Hong Kong offering was frozen shortly thereafter.
Even with today’s slump, Ma still has a net worth of around $ 54 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. Other affluent supporters of Ant include Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, the family behind a French supermarket giant, the son of a Taiwanese property billionaire and Chinese retail magnate Shen Guojun.