May 4, 2018 / 4:11 AM / 5 months ago

Jack Ma's Ant Financial adds two new money market funds to its platform

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s financial technology unicorn Ant Financial Services Group [ANTFIN.UL] is adding two new money market funds to its online wealth management platform Yu’e Bao, which is already the world’s biggest money market fund.

FILE PHOTO: Employees are seen at the reception desk of Ant Financial Services Group, Alibaba's financial affiliate, at its headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Shu Zhang/File Photo

The decision to include two more funds on its platform will allow Ant Financial, an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N), to expand its consumer base at a time when its existing fund, managed by Tianhong Asset Management Co, is under heightened scrutiny by China’s regulators due to concerns of potential financial risk.

Starting from May 4, the extra new funds, managed by Bosera Asset Management Co and Zhong Ou Asset Management Co, respectively, will be integrated into Yu’e Bao alongside the platform’s one existing Tianhong money market fund, Ant Financial said in an emailed statement late on Thursday.

The two new funds do not have any subscription caps, it said.

Yu’e Bao is an online spare cash management platform integrated with Ant Financial’s payment app Alipay, one of China’s largest digital payment platforms. It has more than 400 million users, according to Ant Financial.

Launched in 2013, Tianhong-managed Yu’e Bao fund has become the world’s largest money market fund with 1.7 trillion yuan ($267.9 billion) in net asset as of end-March.

Tianhong has started to take measures to control the pace of growth of its Yu’e Bao fund since last year. Most recently it introduced a dynamically managed daily total subscription cap enacted on Feb. 1, following adjustments made in 2017 to cap individual users’ daily subscriptions at 20,000 yuan and total subscriptions at 100,000 yuan.

($1 = 6.3458 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Shu Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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