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Alibaba CEO says company will not sell Ant shares

China’s Alibaba Group said on Sunday it had decided not to participate in affiliate Ant Group’s proposed repurchase of shares, but would maintain its shareholding in the company.

Ant Group announced a surprise share buyback of up to 7.6% of its equity interest earlier this month, a day after it was fined $984 million by Beijing for violating laws and regulations.

Online retail giant Alibaba, which spun off Ant 12 years ago retains a 33% stake.

The fine has fuelled hopes that a years-long regulatory crackdown on the company has ended, which could allow it to secure a financial holding company licence, focus on growth, and eventually, revive its plans for a stock market listing. Reuters

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