Ant Financial plannings to purchase stake in Thai payments business

Ant Financial Services Group, Alibaba’s monetary services affiliate, is seeking to buy a 20 percent stake in Ascend Cash, an online payment supplier based in Thailand, according to a notification on the site of China’s Ministry of Commerce. Alipay (Hong Kong) Holding Limited, part of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Ant Financial Services Group, is also seeking an option to increase its stake in Ascend to 30 percent at a later date. No even more information on the dollar value of the deal, the approval procedure or a timeframe were given. Ascend’s subsidiaries consist of Real Cash, an online payment service provider, and Ascend Nano, a licensed monetary services provider.

Ant Financial, whose Alipay payment platform controls the online payments market in China, is wanting to broaden its presence overseas even as competition from Tencent’s competing Wechat payment system heats up.

The company likewise continues to broaden its reach locally, buying 20 percent of monetary data supplier Shanghai Suntime Information Technology for around $35 million, Reuters reported last week. Ant Financial Solutions Group, valued at near to $60 billion, offers services like online payment, wealth management items and insurance. Its core Alipay online payment business was established in 2004. The Alibaba affiliate closed a $4.5 billion funding round in April.

( Reporting by Elias Glenn; Editing by Kim Coghill).

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