Alibaba’s Ant Financial buys MoneyGram for $880m

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Ant Financial, a digital payments arm of e-commerce hulk Alibaba, is selling US-based MoneyGram for $880m (£700m).

MoneyGram has about 350,000 outlets in scarcely 200 countries. Ant Financial has some-more than 630 million users.

The takeover by a Chinese organisation will need regulatory capitulation from a US Committee on Foreign Investment.

The inter-agency cabinet reviews unfamiliar acquisitions of domestic American resources on drift of inhabitant security.

Eric Jing, arch executive during Ant Financial, pronounced in a statement that a matrimony of a dual companies will “provide larger access, confidence and morality for people around a universe to subtract funds, generally in vital economies such as a United States, China, India, Mexico and a Philippines”.

Ant Financial has a large marketplace share in a online payments attention in China. The merger could assistance a association extend a lead as good as enhance overseas, as foe is flourishing in China with opposition Tencent’s WeChat remuneration system.

US-listed Moneygram’s shares rose by scarcely 9% on a news. The takeover has been authorized by MoneyGram’s house of directors.

Politics over profits?

Ant Financial’s selling debauch in a US comes opposite a backdrop of rising tensions between China and a world’s biggest economy.

Before he took office, afterwards president-elect Donald Trump was doubt either a US should continue a “One China” policy, sparking ire from Chinese state media. And during his presidential campaign, Mr Trump threatened to levy punitive tariffs on Chinese imports.

But Jack Ma, a owner and authority of Alibaba, hold a assembly with Mr Trump in Dec final year.

While President Trump has been vicious of China, he pronounced he had a “great meeting” with Mr Ma, who chose to boyant Alibaba on a New York Stock Exchange. The share sale in Sep 2014 was a record-breaker, as Alibaba lifted $25bn in a initial open offering.

If a MoneyGram understanding goes through, it will be Alibaba’s second merger in a US. Last year a e-commerce hulk purchased EyeVerify in a $70m deal.

EyeVerify is a start-up formed in Missouri, that uses biometric authentication record for securing user’s online information and transactions.