Alibaba to raise $5bn bond amid regulatory scrutiny

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is planning to raise a $5 billion bond in January.

The fundraising will be a test of investor sentiment towards Alibaba, amid a regulatory crackdown on the company and financial technology affiliate Ant Group.

The news come just months after the Chinese government suspended a potentially record-breaking $37 billion IPO of Alibaba’s Ant Group FinTech arm.

Chinese regulators have begun an antitrust probe into Alibaba and ordered FinTech Ant to change its lending and other consumer finance businesses, including the creation of a holding company to meet capital requirements, Reuters has said.

The plans, revealed in a Reuters report today, follow widespread speculation about the whereabouts of Alibaba co-founder and owner of FinTech company Ant Group Jack Ma.

According to Reuters, Jack Ma has not been seen since October, when he criticised China’s regulatory system at a forum in Shanghai.

Subject to investor response, the bond could reach up to $8 billion, and would likely be used for general corporate expenditure, said a Reuters source.

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