Ant Group to reimburse IPO investors plus fees and interest

Ant Group to reimburse IPO investors plus fees and interest

Over 11m individuals put up more than $176bn in record dual listing

Mainland Chinese retail investors who applied for Ant Group’s A-shares will get refunds after the fintech giant’s record initial public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong was suspended.

Underwriters will return the funds and brokerage commission fees plus interest to investors starting Saturday, Ant Group said Thursday in a statement. The money should be back in investors’ accounts by Monday, and the shares they subscribed to will be canceled Friday. The company promised Wednesday to refund investors who subscribed to the Hong Kong offering.

China’s securities regulator and the Shanghai Stock Exchange said they will work with relevant entities to ensure smooth and orderly refund payments to investors.

Ant Group’s $34.5 billion IPO, which was set to be the world’s largest ever, stoked a buying frenzy among investors. A record 1.55 million mom-and-pop investors subscribed to the Hong Kong half of the dual offering last week, putting up HK$1.3 trillion ($167.6 billion) for the shares.

Amid strong investor demand, financial institutions also raced to offer commission-fee waivers and cheap margin loans to compete for clients. A local newspaper reported that financial institutions in Hong Kong loaned as much as HK$519.2 billion to Ant Group IPO investors. Banks and brokers offered interest rates of 0.5% to 4% annually, leading to interest costs for investors totaling HK$36 million to HK$284 million for the five days before the scheduled debut, according to Caixin calculations.