SHANGHAI (AFP) – Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which completed the world’s largest stock offering earlier this month, has received approval to set up a private bank, it was announced Monday.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said Alibaba would be the majority shareholder with a 30 per cent stake in a private bank to be established in the eastern province of Zhejiang, where the company is headquartered.
Alibaba’s ambitions extend beyond e-commerce and it has already sought to shake up state banks with a financial product called Yuebao, an investment fund that offers better returns than traditional deposits.
Other major shareholders in the newly approved bank include units of privately-owned conglomerate Fosun with 25 per cent, auto parts maker Wanxiang Group with 18 per cent and investment firm Yintai with 16 per cent.
Alibaba’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange raised a total of $25 billion, making it the largest stock offer in history and founder Jack Ma the richest person in China, according to the annual rich list of luxury magazine publisher Hurun Report.
Alibaba, estimated to hold more than 90 per cent of the Chinese market for consumer-to-consumer transactions, embarked on an acquisition frenzy before the listing.
On Monday Shenzhen-listed Beijing Shiji Information Technology, which provides IT solutions to the hotel industry, said a subsidiary of Alibaba had signed an agreement to pay 2.81 billion yuan ($457 million) for a 15 per cent stake in the company, according to stock exchange filings.
The banking regulator on Monday also approved a Shanghai-based private bank whose major shareholder will be JuneYao Group, which has businesses ranging from food to aviation.