ANT Group's blockbuster initial public offering (IPO) has been hogging the headlines - but retail investors in Singapore eager for a piece of the world's largest IPO will have to wait and buy on the open market after trading starts. Accredited investors, on the other hand, can subscribe to the public portion of its shares through online broking platforms.
The Chinese financial technology titan - which is part of the Alibaba group - is set to raise about US$34.5 billion when its shares begin trading in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Individuals who wish to qualify as accredited investors must have:
- Income in the preceding 12 months of not less than S$300,000 (or the equivalent in a foreign currency);
- Net personal assets exceeding S$2 million (or the equivalent in a foreign currency) in value, of which the net value of the investor's primary place of residence can contribute only up to S$1 million;
- Net financial assets exceeding S$1 million (or the equivalent in a foreign currency) in value.
Jean Paul Wong, general manager of FSMOne, iFast Corp's business-to-consumer division in Singapore, said FSMOne.com offers Ant's IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange (HKEX) to accredited investors, and has been offering HKEX IPOs online since early 2018.
"The process to open an FSMOne account, make (an accredited-investor) declaration and subscribe to HKEX IPOs is entirely online, and therefore convenient and seamless for investors," he added.
Based on Ant Group's prospectus, an investor can apply for at least one lot, which consists of 50 shares. Including brokerage commission and other fees, the minimum subscription amount will come to HK$4,040.31 (S$712).
Eng Thiam Choon, chief executive of Tiger Brokers (Singapore), said the brokerage has received "a lot of interest" from retail investors for Ant Group's IPO, adding that Singapore investors tend to "have a strong interest in investing in overseas stocks from other exchanges as part of a diversification strategy". However, he noted that since accredited investors must have a minimum investable amount of S$200,000 before they are deemed eligible for such an investment, "one has to be prudent before jumping on an opportunity like this", and should "do the necessary research to keep themselves abreast of market updates".
Individuals who do not qualify as accredited investors will have to wait. Upon its listing, those with accounts with certain brokerages - DBS Vickers and Maybank Kim Eng among them - can buy on the open market.
But with its IPO plans well underway, the wait might not be long.