Alibaba Group (BABA) and other China stocks jumped Tuesday as the e-commerce leader indicated that progress is being made on overhauling the operations of online finance giant Ant Group in order to satisfy Chinese regulators. Alibaba stock has been pounded since early November over its dealings with China’s government.
Late Monday, Bloomberg reported that Ant Group was planning to fold its financial operations into a holding company that could be regulated more like a bank. China regulators are reportedly targeting Ant Group’s lending, wealth management, and insurance services. They want Ant Group to stick to its traditional business of facilitating payments.
While it stopped short of directly asking for a breakup of the company, the central bank stressed Ant needed to “understand the necessity of overhauling its business,” according to a Bloomberg report.
JD.com stock climbed 3.5%, near 84.15. Tencent Holdings moved up 2.9%, near 69.20, while Pinduoduo jumped 12.7%, near 162.20.
More Pressure On Alibaba Stock
Alibaba stock sold off sharply last Thursday on news the Chinese government was launching an anti-monopoly probe into the e-commerce giant. Tencent, JD.com and other China stocks also fell on the report. It was the latest in a series of steps to rein in the online finance empire created by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who is the largest shareholder of Ant Group.
Since hitting a record high of 319.32, Alibaba stock is down 27%
Ant Group operates a suite of financial products including the widely used Alipay digital wallet in China. It also operates one of the world’s largest money market funds.
Alibaba spun off Ant Group in 2011, but retains a one-third stake in the company.
In November, Ant Group was on the cusp of launching one of the largest initial public offerings ever. But the Ant IPO was withdrawn under pressure from China Securities Regulatory Commission. The commission said Ant did not meet the conditions for listing, including information disclosure requirements.
Please follow Brian Deagon on Twitter at @IBD_BDeagon for more on tech stocks, analysis and financial markets.
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