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Opinion

Behind the scenes of the Ant Group IPO sponsor list

And the joint global coordinator is C█████ Sui███?

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Euromoney has moaned before about the absurd level of redaction in Hong Kong listing prospectuses, but we think Ant Group set a new level of petulance in redacting the joint global coordinator line from their filing.

The joint sponsors are there, and the financial adviser, but the line between? [REDACTED].

Still, maybe there’s a reason. The joint sponsor list – Citi, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and CICC – attracted great interest, not just because of who was on it, but who wasn’t. When one compares it with the listing of Alibaba, Ant’s parent in 2014, one name has been added (CICC) but three have gone: Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs.

Deutsche’s absence is not really a surprise, given the decline in that firm’s investment banking franchise in the intervening years, but the others were more of a shock.

Credit Suisse has long prided itself on its relationship with the Alibaba group, through Vikram Malhotra and others, and it has handled many deals for the group either as underwriter or adviser. For a time, it was pretty much considered Alibaba’s house bank.

'Tarnished'

Now, it appears that Credit Suisse is the one firm on that redacted line: a joint global coordinator, but not a joint sponsor.




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