Reuters reports Alipay parent Ant Financial is in talks to raise funds from new and existing investors, and is seeking a near-$60B valuation. The WSJ reports Ant is looking to raise RMB20B ($3.1B), and that "investors are hanging" a near-$50B valuation on the company.
Last year, Reuters reported the Chinese online payments leader closed a round valuing it at ~$45B. The funding efforts come with the timing of Alipay's long-anticipated IPO still up in the air. The WSJ states bankers expect an Alipay IPO "as early as 2017," and potentially in China. Ant has previously said raising funds in yuan (rather than dollars) will make a Chinese listing easier.
Alibaba (BABA +1.7%) is set to receive a 33% stake in Ant, whose payment services are tightly integrated with Alibaba's core platforms, when Ant goes public. Until then, Alibaba receives 37.5% of Ant's pre-tax profits.
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