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Report: Ant Financial to list in late 2017 following growth push

Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate ofAlibaba Group HoldingLtd., may conduct its in late 2017 as it prioritizesexpanding its business, Reuters reported Oct. 11, citing "sources withknowledge of the plans."

The financial affiliate is focusing on expanding itsexisting daily user base as it looks to bolster its customer and merchantnumbers, the sources said. As of September, Ant Financial had still notcontacted the China Securities Regulatory Commission to initiate the IPOprocess, one of the sources added.

A spokeswoman at Ant Financial said that a timetable orlocation for the company's IPO has not been set, the news outlet reported. TheChina Securities Regulatory Commission did not comment on the matter.

Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of Alibaba, recently saidthat the group will look into setting up an IPO for Ant Financial in the nextfew years, but it has not been determined where or when the listing will takeplace.

The sources said that Ant Financial intends to list in bothChina and Hong Kong. They added that while the application to list could besimultaneous, Ant Financial may come to the Hong Kong market first given theshorter waiting time in the city.