Mainland authorities have given approval to Jack Ma's Ant Group to raise 10.5 billion yuan for its consumer finance arm.
An office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission in the southwestern city of Chongqing will let the firm raise its registered capital from eight billion yuan to 18.5 billion yuan, according to a notice issued on December 30.
After the deal goes through, Ant – in which e-commerce titan Alibaba has a stake – will have contributed a total of 9.25 billion yuan and control half of its shares.
A unit owned by the city of Hangzhou will become the second-largest shareholder with a 10 percent stake, the notice said.
It added that Ant is required to "complete the relevant statutory proceedings" within six months of receiving the authorisation.
Chinese authorities have imposed restrictions on major technology firms in recent years, and in 2020 pulled Ant's planned initial public offering in Hong Kong at the last minute. The listing would have been a world record at the time.
Beijing also hit Alibaba, which Ma co-founded and formerly headed, with a record US$2.75 billion fine for alleged unfair practices.
News of China's agreement to the fundraising sent shares in Alibaba soaring almost nine percent in Hong Kong trading, while other tech firms were also boosted on hopes that restrictions on the sector could be winding down. JD.com jumped more than six percent and XD was up almost eight percent. (AFP)