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Ant Financial raises US$4.5B via private placement

Alibaba Group HoldingLtd.'s financial services affiliate, Ant Financial Services Group, raisedUS$4.5 billion via a private placement, Agence France-Presse reported April 26,citing a statement from the company.

The investors included a unit of China's sovereign wealth fundand a subsidiary of China ConstructionBank, the statement said.

Proceeds from the issue will be used for global expansion andto boost the company's services to China's rural areas, said Eric Jing, presidentof Ant Financial.

The latest round of funding valued Ant Financial at roughly US$60billion, up from a previous valuation of around US$45 billion in the company's firstoutside fundraising in 2015, The Wall StreetJournal separately reported the same day.

Earlier in April, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources, that the firm was targeting a privatefundraising for at least US$3.5 billion at a valuation of approximately US$60 billion.