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Private Equity

FinTech: China’s Ant Group Reports Nearly $3.5B In Profits to June 2020

Ant Group, the holding company for Alipay, the mobile payment service with over 1 billion users, reported a solid streak of profitability during the first six months of 2020. The Jack Ma controlled company earned about 9.1 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) of profit in the recent June quarter and 15.3 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) in the preceding March quarter. These numbers have been derived from the results for the June quarter declared by Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), which holds 33% of Ant Group.

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FinTech: China’s Ant Group Reports Nearly $3.5B In Profits to June 2020

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The massive fintech and world’s most valuable unicorn is prepping for an IPO.

Ant Group, the holding company for Alipay, the mobile payment service with over 1 billion users, reported a solid streak of profitability during the first six months of 2020.

The Jack Ma controlled company earned about 9.1 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) of profit in the recent June quarter. It profited 15.3 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) in the preceding March quarter. These numbers have been derived from the results for the June quarter declared by Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA). Alibaba holds 33% of Ant Group. (BusinessWire)

A profit record of $3.5 billion over six months is an impressive run-up to Ant’s IPO for which it filed preliminary filing documents a week ago.

Ant Group IPO

The company will go for dual listings in Hong Kong and Shanghai within the next few weeks, says Bloomberg. It will likely target a valuation of about $ 225 billion, making it by far the world’s largest IPO ever.

Moreover, sources told Bloomberg that the IPO could raise as much as $ 30 billion assuming markets remain bullish.

Shares of Ant Group will list on the Hong Kong stock exchange and the technology-heavy Star board in Shanghai.

The company’s giant fintech operations cover loans, mobile payments, even money market funds. Ant is likely to expand its operations to include payments for everything from flight tickets to food delivery.

Meanwhile, it is already China’s dominant mobile payments company. It is now planning to set up a consumer finance firm in the south-western city of Chongqing, according to Reuters.

The digital nature of the operations of Ant Group, as well as the massive e-commerce business of its parent Alibaba Group, may have benefited from the COVID 19 pandemic.

This was apparent from the statement of Alibaba Group on its June quarter results.

COVID-19

“We were well-positioned to capture growth from the ongoing digital transformation, which has been accelerated by the pandemic, in both consumption and enterprise operations,” said Daniel Zhang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “We mobilized our entire digital infrastructure to support the economic recovery of businesses across a wide range of sectors while broadening and diversifying our consumer base by addressing their changing preferences in a post-COVID-19 environment.”

Indeed, Alibaba reported that annual active consumers on its China retail marketplaces hit 742 million in the quarter. This is compared to 674 million for the same quarter in 2019, an approximately 10 percent increase.

June quarter’s revenue of $ 21.8 billion represented an increase of 34% year-on-year.

“Our domestic core commerce business has fully recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels across the board, while cloud computing revenue grew 59% year-over-year,” said Maggie Wu, Chief Financial Officer of Alibaba Group. “Our strong profit growth and cash flow enable us to continue to strengthen our core business and invest for long term growth.”

Related Story:   Alipay’s Brute Power on Display on Singles Day                                                

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/fintech-chinas-ant-group-reports-nearly-3-5b-in-profits-to-june-2020/

Private Equity

Boston startups expand region’s venture capital footprint

This year has shaken up venture capital, turning a hot early start to 2020 into a glacial period permeated with fear during the early days of COVID-19. That ice quickly melted as venture capitalists discovered that demand for software and other services that startups provide was accelerating, pushing many young tech companies back into growth […]

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This year has shaken up venture capital, turning a hot early start to 2020 into a glacial period permeated with fear during the early days of COVID-19. That ice quickly melted as venture capitalists discovered that demand for software and other services that startups provide was accelerating, pushing many young tech companies back into growth mode, and investors back into the check-writing arena.

Boston has been an exemplar of the trend, with early pandemic caution dissolving into rapid-fire dealmaking as summer rolled into fall.

We collated new data that underscores the trend, showing that Boston’s third quarter looks very solid compared to its peer groups, and leads greater New England’s share of American venture capital higher during the three-month period.

For our October look at Boston and its startup scene, let’s get into the data and then understand how a new cohort of founders is cropping up among the city’s educational network.

A strong Q3, a strong 2020

Boston’s third quarter was strong, effectively matching the capital raised in New York City during the three-month period. As we head into the fourth quarter, it appears that the silver medal in American startup ecosystems is up for grabs based on what happens in Q4.

Boston could start 2021 as the number-two place to raise venture capital in the country. Or New York City could pip it at the finish line. Let’s check the numbers.

According to PitchBook data shared with TechCrunch, the metro Boston area raised $4.34 billion in venture capital during the third quarter. New York City and its metro area managed $4.45 billion during the same time period, an effective tie. Los Angeles and its own metro area managed just $3.90 billion.

In 2020 the numbers tilt in Boston’s favor, with the city and surrounding area collecting $12.83 billion in venture capital. New York City came in second through Q3, with $12.30 billion in venture capital. Los Angeles was a distant third at $8.66 billion for the year through Q3.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/23/boston-startups-expand-regions-venture-capital-footprint/

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Private Equity

Alternative Investments/Real Estate: Housing Market Demand Is “Insane”

Speaking to CNBC on Power Lunch, Glenn Kelman, CEO of real estate brokerage Redfin (NASDAQ: RDFN), said he expected the current boom conditions in the housing market to last well into next year. He attributed the high demand to affluent professionals looking for remote homes as well as low interest rates. Also, he thinks some sellers will put their properties on the market only after the presidential election.

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Alternative Investments/Real Estate: Housing Market Demand Is “Insane”

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Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman says the boom could last into next year.

Speaking to CNBC on Power Lunch, Glenn Kelman, CEO of real estate brokerage Redfin (NASDAQ: RDFN), said he expected the current boom conditions in the housing market to last well into next year. He attributed the high demand to affluent professionals looking for remote homes as well as low interest rates. Also, he thinks some sellers will put their properties on the market only after the presidential election. (CNBC)

Kelman: Too good to last forever

“This level of demand is absolutely insane. I would expect it to last into 2021, at least,” Kelman said.

Recent data from the National Association of Realtors shows up the strength in the housing market.

Existing home sales shot up 9.4% in September beating expectations. Even though the median purchase price of a home rose approximately 15% year over year, there is just a 2.7-month supply of for-sale homes, showing tight market inventory conditions.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.80% for the week ending Oct. 22, down from 2.81% in the previous week and 3.75% a year ago, according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Therefore, mortgage rates crept even lower in the latest week.

However, “there’s no way it can last forever,” Kelman warned of the bullish conditions.

Canada: Off the charts

Meanwhile, at the northern neighbor, home sales activity in September is described as “off-the-charts.”

Housing data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) last week showed a nationwide year-over-year increase in sales of 45.6%.

This was a new all-time monthly record for the third month in a row.

“This is starting to sound like a broken record (about records being broken), but Canadian home sales and prices set records once again in September … as they did in July and August,” said Shaun Cathcart, senior economist at CREA, in a statement.

Real Estate ETFs in the U.S.

The year-to-date performance of some real estate ETFs is shown below:

iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB)              +24.61%

SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB)                          +20.83%

Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF                      -13.91%

It may be noted that despite the boom conditions in housing, real estate ETFs and stocks have declined in recent days.

According to Barron’s, this may be due to yields on the 10-year and 30-year Treasuries moving higher in recent weeks.

Other reasons could be fears of inflation ticking up in the future amidst an improving economic situation.

Nevertheless, the view is that interest rates are likely to remain low for longer. So demand may remain strong.

“Part of what is fueling this boom is that the economy has just split into two and rich people are able to access capital almost for free, so, of course, they’re going to use that money to buy homes,” said Redfin’s Kelman.

Related Story:   Mortgage Rates Set Another Record Low; Real Estate ETFs Could Benefit

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/alternative-investments-real-estate-housing-market-demand-is-insane/

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Private Equity

Asda’s new owner EG Group seeks new leadership ahead of IPO – report

EG Group is owned by the billionaire Issa brothers and the private equity firm TDR Capital, who teamed up for a £6.8 billion takeover of Asda last month

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UK grocer Asda Group’s new owner EG Group is looking for a new chairman and independent directors as it prepares for a £10bn initial public offering, The Timesreports.

EG Group is owned by the billionaire Issa brothers and the private equity firm TDR Capital, who teamed up for a £6.8 billion takeover of Asda last month.

The move comes after Deloitte resigned last week as the company’s auditor because of concerns over the group’s governance and lack of internal controls, according to the publication.

A decision on candidates will be taken before the end of this year, although roles haven’t been finalised yet as the company is in the process of deciding whether to float in the UK or the US, The Times reports.

Write to Barcelona editors at barcelonaeditors@dowjones.com

From Dow Jones Newswires

Source: https://www.penews.com/articles/asdas-new-owner-eg-group-seeks-new-leadership-ahead-of-ipo-reports-20201023

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