Chinese financial conglomerate Ant Financial on Friday offloaded a 3.6 per cent stake in fintech giant Paytm for Rs 2,037 crore (about USD 247 million).
Antfin, an affiliate of Chinese tech giant Alibaba, has sold about 22.75 million shares of Paytm, India’s largest digital payments company, for about USD 247 million. The shares were sold at Rs 895.20 apiece, according to stock exchange data.
Morgan Stanley and European financial services company Societe Generale bought around 40 lakh and 60 lakh shares in Paytm, respectively. The deal comes after Paytm’s founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma announced earlier this month that he would purchase Antfin’s 10.3 per cent stake in the company for USD 628 million.
The deal will reduce Antfin’s stake in Paytm to 13.5 per cent. The latest transactions are part of Sharma’s efforts to reduce Chinese ownership in Paytm. The Indian government has been concerned about the increasing influence of Chinese companies in the country’s economy.
In February 2023, Alibaba sold its entire stake in Paytm. SoftBank Group, another major investor in Paytm, has also been selling its shares in the company. The Japanese investor has reduced its stake in Paytm to 9.18 per cent. The sale of Antfin’s stake in Paytm is a sign that Chinese investors are facing increasing scrutiny in India. It remains to be seen how these transactions will affect Paytm’s business and its valuation.
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