Alibaba’s Ma hopes affiliate Ant Financial will list in Hong Kong

BEIJING (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Executive Chairman Jack Ma “very much hopes” that the e-commerce firm’s affiliate Ant Financial Services Group will list in Hong Kong, a spokeswoman for the online finance company quoted him as saying.

Ma, who is Ant’s controlling shareholder, made the comments at an event in Macau on Monday.

A listing for Ant has been long expected. But the spokeswoman said that the company does not have a timeline or venue set.

The company, which includes online payment service Alipay – its crown jewel – is valued at close to $60 billion, a person familiar with its latest fundraising round said in April.

Ant and Alibaba executives have given mixed signals on a potential venue, mentioning a listing on a mainland stock exchange, going public in Hong Kong, or pursuing a dual-listing domestically and offshore.

Ma’s comments were first reported by Ming Pao, a Hong Kong newspaper.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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