How to buy Ant Group shares in the UK

UK investors may need to get creative to back this highly anticipated Chinese IPO.


Fact checked

Ant Group’s initial public offering postponed by Shanghai Stock Exchange

After supervisory interviews, Shanghai Stock Exchange has postponed Ant Group’s IPO due to changes in the financial technology regulatory environment and other “major issues”.

Read our news story.

Chinese fintech giant Ant Group, formerly known as Ant Financial, operates Alipay, the world’s largest digital payments platform. As it prepares to go public in one of the world’s largest initial public offerings (IPOs), here’s what you need to know about how to buy Ant Group shares in the UK.

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What we know about the Ant Financial IPO

Hangzhou-headquartered Ant Group plans to go public through a parallel listing on Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges.

This Alibaba affiliate aims to raise as much as US$34.5 billion through its dual-listing. If successful, this listing will break world records for the largest IPO to date. It also happens to be the first time a listing of its size is being priced outside of New York City.

Ant Group plans to evenly split its offerings between the two exchanges, with up to 1.67 billion shares up for grabs on each exchange, accounting for 11% of total outstanding shares. The New York Times suggests that Ant Group could be worth as much as US$310 billion.

This valuation puts it on par with JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest financial institutions in the world.

The projected price for Ant Group’s Shanghai stock is 68.8 yuan (about £7.97), while its Hong Kong stock is expected to launch at 80 Hong Kong dollars (about £8). Shares are expected to go live on their respective exchanges on 5 November.

There’s no way to predict exactly how the IPO will shake out, or how the US election might affect restrictions placed on the company. We’ll update this page as more information becomes available.

How to invest in Ant Group from the UK

Although Ant Group’s stock will only be available on Chinese exchanges, UK investors can still buy shares. In fact, there are three ways that you can invest in Ant Group from the UK.

1. Use an international share trading account

As Ant Group will be listed on the Hong Kong exchange, if you want to buy Ant Group shares you’re going to need a trading account which gives you access to international shares.

There are several providers which support the Hong Kong stock exchange in the UK, including eToro, interactive investor, Degiro and Saxo Bank. At the moment, interactive investor is running a promotion which gives you £100 of free trades for new customers. Pretty sweet!

All of these platforms offer Ant Group shares
Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fees Brand description
eToro Free Stocks
0% commission, no markup, no ticket fee, no management fee
Withdrawal fee & GDP to USD deposit conversion
Capital at risk. 0% commission but other fees may apply.
Interactive Investor
From £7.99 on the Investor Service Plan
From £7.99 on the Investor Service Plan
No transfer fees or exit fees. £9.99 a month on the Investor Service Plan
Open an ISA, Trading Account or SIPP you will get £100 of free trades to buy or sell any investment (new customers only).
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. Capital at risk.
Degiro Share Dealing
£1.75 + 0.022% (max £5.00)
£1.75 + 0.022% (max £5.00)
Portfolio transfer fees (in & out)
Degiro is widely seen as one of the best low-cost share brokers, for people who are looking to trade regularly. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets Share Dealing Account
0.05% (min £5)
0.12% per year & transfer-out fee
Saxo Markets offers a wide access to a range of stocks, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.

Compare up to 4 providers

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

2. Buy Alibaba shares

Another option for investors who want to purchase Ant Group stocks is to back its parent company, Alibaba. This is a less direct investment than purchasing Ant Group stocks outright and you’ll need a share-trading account that lets you trade US stocks. Alibaba trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BABA.

Get more detailed information and learn how to buy BABA stock.

3. Buy ETFs

You can also indirectly add Ant Group stocks to your portfolio by investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track the stock. Once the stock hits the market, keep an eye out for ETFs that add Ant Group shares to their overall holdings. By purchasing these ETFs, you’ll gain some exposure to Ant Group’s stock.

The following ETFs already invest heavily in Chinese stocks, so they may be worth watching once Ant shares go live:

  • iShares MSCI China ETF
  • KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF
  • Renaissance Capital’s International IPO ETF
  • SPDR S&P China ETF

Ant Group’s balance sheet

Ant Group is a subsidiary of Alibaba Group and was formed in 2014 to manage Alipay, a digital payments platform with over 711 million active users.

For the 6 months ended in June 2020, Ant reported revenue of 72.5 billion yuan (about £8.1 billion). Profits over the same time period were 21.9 billion yuan, or £2.4 billion. These figures put Ant Group’s revenue up 38% from the same period in 2019, a promising trend for interested investors.

Ant reports that its payment app, Alipay, processed 118 trillion yuan (£13.1 trillion) in transactions for the 12 months ending in June 2020.

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