9988-HKA logo of Ant Group is pictured at the headquarters of the company, an affiliate of Alibaba, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China October 29, 2020.Aly Song | Reuters
GUANGZHOU, China — China has given its approval to Ant Group to operate a consumer finance company, a key positive step in the forced restructuring of its business just months after regulators slammed the breaks on its record-breaking listing.
Ant will hold a 50% stake in the new entity and contribute 4 billion Chinese yuan ($625.93 million) in registered capital, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said on Thursday.
Another six shareholders will contribute 4 billion yuan and hold the remaining 50%. The company will be registered in the southwestern city of Chongqing with a total registered capital of 8 billion yuan.
The business will be able to give out personal loans and issue bonds among other things. The consumer finance company will also house Ant’s credit businesses Huabei and Jiebei. These are critical for the company and previously big drivers of revenue.
In November, Ant Group, which is controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, was set to carry out a record-breaking $34.5 billion initial public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong. But Chinese authorities