Ant Group plots revamp amid regulator pressure

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that China’s Ant Group Co Ltd is planning to refashion itself as a financial holding company under the supervision of China’s central bank in the face of regulatory pressure.

The fintech affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has submitted an outline of a restructuring plan. Wall Street Journal says the outline could be finalised before China goes into the week-long lunar new year holiday in mid-February.

It was reported in December that Chinese regulators asked Ant to consider folding up most of its financial businesses into a holding company that would be subject to more stringent capital requirements.

The country’s central bank, People’s Bank of China, has said Ant controls a range of financial institutions, including securities and insurance firms, and should set up a holding firm according to law.

Chinese regulators in November abruptly halted Ant’s $37 billion initial public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong, which was set to be the world’s largest.

Ant and Alibaba were not immediately available for a comment.