The Chinese Ant Group will go public in Hong Kong and Shanghai next week, expected on November 5.

With expected proceeds of $ 34.5 billion (about € 29.5 billion), it will be the largest IPO ever.

But what does this company do?

And why is it so popular with investors?

We ask stock market commentator Corné van Zeijl and investment specialist at LYNX Beleggen Justin Blekemolen.

What exactly does the Ant Group do?

The Ant Group was founded in 2014 to facilitate payments on the Aliexpress online store and Alibaba trading platform.

"Ant now not only provides payments, but also provides more financial services such as insurance and even asset management," says Van Zeijl.

Blekemolen: "You could compare Ant with PayPal, but Ant is even broader and wants to add even more financial services."

Ant has a total of more than 1 billion users, of which just over 700 million use the service monthly.

Why are they going public now?

"They do this to raise money for their technological development and to finance their growth", says Van Zeijl.

In total, about 11 percent of the shares are sold for $ 34.5 billion.

"They particularly want to invest in their foreign joint ventures," explains Van Zeijl.

"Ant is very large in China and it will be difficult to grow much further in market share there. The real growth must therefore come from international expansion."

That is why they enter into joint ventures with companies that are already large in other countries, and this often requires money.

This is the right time to collect that money, Blekemolen thinks.

"A company is always going through a process of maturing. Now is the right time for Ant to go public, because once they continue to grow, investors may not see such good prospects for development as they do now."

Why is Ant worth so much money?

This is mainly due to the growth perspective, thinks Blekemolen.

"Ant is widely used, but the users are still nowhere near as active as they could be. So there is room for growth there."

Van Zeijl also notes that China is the largest economic growth market in the world.

"And they are right in a segment that is growing faster than the rest of the economy: fintech. Our own Adyen is also extremely popular for that reason."

In addition, Ant is one of the few fintechs that is already making a profit.

Sounds like things are going well for Ant, is that so?

Yes, but Ant also has challenges, says Blekemolen.

"There is a lot of competition in their market, such as WeChat."

Tencent's social media app is estimated to have over a billion users and it also has a payment module.

In addition, Van Zeijl sees challenges in their growth strategy.

It is difficult to grow through international expansion, he thinks.

Within China, Ant has the advantage that many people are already users of AliExpress or Alibaba, which means that they quickly become customers of Ant.

"Outside of China they don't have that advantage, so the question is whether the growth will continue there just as fast."

And further across the border there is a completely different challenge.

"In Asia they are a very logical partner to work with, but because European and American regulators are very cautious with these types of parties, it will be a lot more difficult to grow outside Asia."

Future shareholders do not take much notice of these problems.

Interested investors have subscribed for 76 billion shares, almost 285 times more than the offer.