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FINTECH

Paytm IPO highlights Chinese, Indian regulatory attitudes after Ant fiasco

Paytm, whose largest shareholder is Ant Group/Alibaba, could raise India’s largest-ever IPO. It should be smoother than Ant’s own failed attempt, and that tells us something about changing regulatory positions.

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Photo: Reuters

On July 12, Indian digital payments company Paytm will seek shareholder permission for what could be India’s largest-ever IPO.

Its progress will draw interesting comparisons with the fate of its Chinese equivalent – and notable shareholder – Ant Group.

According to a notice calling an extraordinary shareholder meeting in Delhi, Paytm will sell 120 billion rupees ($1.6 billion)-worth of new shares.

That is understood to be part of a combined primary and secondary share sale that will raise the equivalent of around $3 billion, with JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and ICICI Securities as joint bookrunners.

If it does so, it will overtake the Coal India IPO as India’s biggest-ever listing. Paytm could be valued at close to $30 billion.

Shareholders

As Euromoney explained in our landmark feature on the company in 2017, Paytm started life as a prepaid mobile recharge website in 2010 before taking advantage of prime minister Narendra Modi’s controversial demonetization programme and pivoting to become the largest mobile payment service platform in India.

Along