Alibaba's finance arm Ant says to expand in Asia first

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 01, 2016 12:44 AM

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Ant Financial Services Group, the world's biggest financial technology company, plans to focus its expansion plans in Asia before looking to go more global, a senior official said on Tuesday at an event in Hong Kong.

Ant, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's online finance arm, will offer insurance and investment management products outside of China, senior vice president Douglas Feagin said at an event to mark a tie-up with a payment firm in Thailand.

Feagin, a former Goldman Sachs banker who's in charge of the company's international business, added there were no set plans currently for a timing or venue of a potential initial public offering (IPO), though he acknowledged there were benefits for Ant Financial going public.

Ant Financial raised $4.5 billion in a record funding round in April, valuing the company at about $60 billion, the same as American Express Co or insurer Chubb Ltd and more than any other privately held fintech company.

(Reporting by Elzio Barreto and Sijia Jiang; Writing by Cate Cadell; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)