Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) shares slipped on Tuesday as Reuters reported that Chinese government authorities were set to levy a fine of more than $1B on Ant Group, a move that would end a regulatory overhaul on the financial technology firm of more than two years.
The fine is slated to come from the People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank, which initially caused Ant’s initial public offering in 2020 to be halted at the last minute, the news outlet added, citing five sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
Three of the sources said the PBOC has had informal talks with Ant, founded by Alibaba (BABA) co-founder Jack Ma, over the past several months, and more discussions with other regulators could come soon. One of the sources added that a fine could come as soon as the second quarter of 2023.
Alibaba (BABA) shares fell fractionally to $76.79 in premarket trading.
Assuming Ant Group receives a fine, it could let the company, known for its popular Alipay service, apply for a financial holding company license and put it back on a path towards an initial public offering.
In June, it was reported that Ant Group could apply for a financial holding license, but that did not come to pass.
Alibaba (BABA) shares fell sharply on Monday as China’s COVID-19 restrictions continued to plague the country’s economy and by extension, its tech sector.
Source : Seeking Alpha