Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), Ant Financial Services Group and One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm, India’s largest mobile payment & commerce platform, announced an agreement under which Alibaba and Ant Financial have agreed to make a strategic investment in Paytm. Ant Financial made its initial investment in Paytm in February 2015 while Alibaba will become a new investor in Paytm after the completion of the transaction.
The fresh capital infusion will allow Paytm to achieve scale and develop its vibrant mobile commerce and payment ecosystem in India and invest in marketing, technology and talent. Investing in Paytm will enhance the ability of Alibaba and Ant Financial to tap opportunities in India’s fast-growing mobile e-commerce marketplace and digital finance industry.
Ant Financial has been developing synergies with Paytm since its initial investment in February of this year. Ant Financial’s further investment in Paytm with this transaction demonstrates the company’s confidence in India’s digital payment sector. Ant Financial and Paytm will continue to capitalize on opportunities in mobile wallet to offer Indian consumers comprehensive products and services and to tap the significant potential of the India mobile payment market.
This transaction further demonstrates the commitment of Alibaba, the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume, to continue to internationalize its e-commerce business.
Eric Jing, President of Ant Financial Services Group said, “Ant Financial has worked seamlessly with Paytm in the past few months and our technical teams have developed significant improvements on the user experience for Indian consumers. Ant Financial and Paytm will collaborate to capture mobile payment opportunities in India. We believe that Paytm, as a leader in this field, is best equipped to build a mobile payment ecosystem in the country.”
Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group said, “India is an important emerging market with strong e-commerce potential, and we look forward to partnering with Paytm to deliver innovative products and services to consumers. Supporting the success of local homegrown entrepreneurial companies has long been an important part of Alibaba Group’s globalization strategy. This investment will further expand Alibaba Group’s global footprint to India’s thriving mobile commerce market.”
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Paytm said, “Paytm is building India’s most dominant mobile payment and commerce ecosystem. With the Alibaba and Ant Financial partnerships, we look to bring half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy and help millions of small businesses leverage this large m-commerce opportunity. This investment by Alibaba and Ant Financial is a reaffirmation of their belief and commitment to the long term Paytm opportunity.”
Citi acted as exclusive financial advisor to Paytm on this transaction.
Paytm’s business has grown rapidly and robustly since Ant Financial initially invested in Paytm in February 2015. Ant Financial has also been offering strategic and technical support to the company. Paytm has recently crossed 100 million Paytm Wallet users who carry out over 75 million transactions every month. With this major achievement, Paytm has inched closer towards its larger vision of bringing half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy.(Original Source)
Shares of Alibaba Group closed yesterday at $57.39. BABA has a 1-year high of $120 and a 1-year low of $57.32. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $67.28 and its 200-day moving average is $80.03.
On the ratings front, Alibaba has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 17, Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein maintained a Buy rating on BABA, with a price target of $85, which represents a potential upside of 48.1% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on September 16, MKM Partners’ Rob Sanderson maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $85.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jason Helfstein and Rob Sanderson have a total average return of 5.0% and -5.9% respectively. Helfstein has a success rate of 47.1% and is ranked #656 out of 3759 analysts, while Sanderson has a success rate of 41.7% and is ranked #3439.
Overall, 2 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 19 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $91.43 which is 59.3% above where the stock closed yesterday.