The Shanghai Stock Exchange has suspended Ant Group’s blockbuster IPO over regulatory concerns.
The shock move by the Chinese exchange comes a day after Ant Group's Jack Ma was summoned to a meeting of the country's top regulatory bodies. This followed a critical speech by Ma in Shanghai, where he criticised the country's fluid regulatory system and banks, accusing the latter of having a "pawn-shop mentality".
In a short statement, the Shanghai Exchange said it was suspending the share offering due to upcoming changes in the regulatory environment that might make Ant fall short of listing requirements concerning information disclosure.
Shares in Ant Group were set to start trading in China and Hong Kong on Thursday, with the much anticipated float set to be the world’s biggest, after investors signed up for $37bn of shares.
Within an hour of the news breaking, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange announced that it would also suspend Ant's IPO, citing the same regulatory concerns and effectively derailing the upcoming listing.