Ant IPO halt stings investors big and small

The decision to halt Ant Group’s mega IPO has left investors big and small licking their wounds.

Retail investors had bought into the listing in a big way, placing a record $3 trillion dollars in bids for the firm’s shares.

Many will have paid brokers’ fees and interest on loans to fund share purchases.

Hong Kong student Vincent Tse says he regrets applying for shares worth around 20,000 dollars:

"Yes, I indeed feel like I made a very wrong decision of trusting like the Chinese finance system can work normally.”

Ant runs assets including China’s huge Alipay online payments system.

It had hoped to raise as much as 37 billion dollars in the biggest ever stock listing, which was due to take place Thursday (November 5).

But the deal was halted at the last minute by the Shanghai stock exchange.

Reuters sources say that was after regulators expressed concern over Ant’s online lending business.

China International Capital Corporation will be among companies to feel the pain.

It was lead bank for the IPO, which promised it big fees and a jump in investment bank rankings.

Dozens of other banks and brokers are exposed in one way or another.

It also looks like a stunning rebuke for Jack Ma.

The billionaire built online commerce titan Alibaba, which owns a third of Ant.

The IPO was set to almost double his net worth to about 59 billion dollars.

Analysts say he put himself on a collision course with regulators after comments last month publicly criticising the country’s financial system.