Alibaba accelerates drive into financial services

Alibaba accelerates drive into financial services

Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba is continuing its aggressive push into the financial services industry with the establishment of an e-commerce Big Data index and plans for the June launch of an online bank.

The CSI Taojin Big Data 100 Index, which debuted in January, is made up of 100 A-share stocks from a range of industries including household durables, leisure equipment, textiles and apparel, hotels and restaurants, food and staples, retailing, food and beverage and personal care.

The constituent companies are active online retailers whose sales are tracked via Alipay, China’s largest e-payments provider and a subsidiary of Alibaba's recently formed Ant Financial.

The index is intended to mimic the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 by providing an accurate, timely indicator of the health of China’s e-commerce sector.

Bosera Asset Management today announced that it will launch two financial products based on the CSI Taojin Big Data 100 Index, making them available to individuals and SMEs on Zhao Cai Bao, Ant Financial’s online sales platform for third-party financial institutions.

In a separate development, Yuan Leiming, Ant's general manager of its finance division, disclosed plans for the June launch of a fully-fledged online bank under the branding of its MyBank affiliate.

In an interview with Reuters, Leiming said Ant Financial will hold a 30% stake in MYbank, while subsidiaries of Fosun International Ltd and Wanxiang Group will hold 25% and 18% stakes, respectively. Ningbo Jinrun Asset Management will own 16% and other shareholders the remainder. The bank won regulatory approval last year.

The move follows the launch of a greenfield internet banking operation by Alibaba's arch-rival Tencent Holdings in January this year.

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