The shares of Alibaba Group Holdings BABA cracked after its financial affiliate Ant Group refuted media reports claiming that Beijing had formed a team to reassess Ant’s stalled initial public offering.
What Happened: Billionaire Jack Ma-controlled Ant Group in a statement that said that it currently has no plans for the IPO.
“Under the guidance of regulators, we are focused on steadily moving forward with our rectification work and do not have any plan to initiate an IPO,” it said in a statement.
In a separate statement, China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), the market regulator, also denied claims and said it “has not conducted any assessment or research in this regard.”
However, it further added that it supports “qualified platform enterprises to go public in domestic and overseas markets.”
Rumors and Speculation about Ant’s IPO gained steam in the recent days after the company underwent a major reshuffle of its board. The company also added Laura Cha Shih May-lung, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing chief and a Hong Kong government’s Executive Council member, as an independent director.
Why It Matters: The Chinese regulatory hammer in late 2020 on Alibaba’s Ant Group botched its $37-billion IPO plans. The sudden sent ripples across the country’s internet sector, leading to a mass exodus of foreign investors.
Alibaba Group owns a roughly 33% stake in the company.
Price Action: According to data from Benzinga Pro, Alibaba shares closed 8.12% lower at $109.90 on Thursday.