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Ant’s consumer finance unit to boost its capital to $4.7 bln – Reuters

A man walks past an Ant Group logo at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, China July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Yilei Sun

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BEIJING, Dec 24 (Reuters) – The consumer finance unit of China’s Ant Group will boost the company’s capital to 30 billion yuan ($4.71 billion) from 8 billion yuan, and introduce 4 new strategic investors, an exchange filing released on Friday said.

The unit, Chongqing Ant Consumer Finance Co Ltd, is under regulatory pressure to fold Ant’s two lucrative micro-loan businesses Jiebei and Huabei into it, which would make it subject to rules and capital requirements similar to those for banks.

China Cinda Asset Management (1359.HK), one of company’s new investors and one of the country’s four biggest state asset managers, said it will invest 6 billion yuan as part of the exercise.

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After the deal, China Cinda will become the second biggest shareholder with a 24% stake in the consumer financing unit, including a 20% stake it holds directly and a 4% stake held by Nanyang Commercial Bank Ltd, a Cinda subsidiary.

Ant will retain a 50% stake in the unit, Cinda’s filing to Hong Kong Stock Exchange showed.

The filing also disclosed the introduction of three other strategic investors into Ant’s consumer financing unit, including Sunny Optics, Boguan Technology, a unit of NetEase Inc (9999.HK), and Yufu Capital, a local investment arm of the Chongqing government.

Last month, Ant said it was seeking to differentiate part of its short-term consumer loan business Jiebei, as it pursues a regulator-led restructuring.

($1 = 6.3640 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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Reporting by Cheng Leng and Ryan Woo; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Barbara Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.