the Chinese e-commerce giant, fell sharply Friday following a report that said billionaire Jack Ma plans to cede control of Ant Group.
(ticker: BABA) owns about a third of Ant, the fintech powerhouse. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Ant was looking to distance itself from Alibaba, which Ma founded, after a prolonged period of regulatory pressures.
The Journal noted how diminishing Ma’s ownership in Ant could push back a potential revival of the company’s initial public offering for a year or more. Ma currently controls 50.52% of Ant shares. The Shanghai Stock Exchange suspended Ant’s IPO of more than $34 billion in November 2020.
Meanwhile, Alibaba is forecast by analysts to report a decline in quarterly revenue when it reports Aug. 4. It would be the company’s first-ever negative quarterly revenue growth, according to Bloomberg. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect revenue of $30.2 billion for the quarter ended in June, down from $31.8 billion a year earlier.
Alibaba shares have slumped since Tuesday after the company said it would apply for a primary listing in Hong Kong. The listing is expected to be completed before the end of 2022. Alibaba would become a dual-primary listed company in Hong Kong and New York, where American depositary shares of the company trade.
Those ADRs closed Tuesday at $101.44. In premarket trading Friday, they were down 5.4% to $95.10. Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba on Friday closed down 6.1%.
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