Jack Ma’s Ant Boosts Consumer-Finance Unit With $3.5 Billion Fundraising

The consumer-finance arm of China’s Ant Group Co. is boosting its financial firepower with a $3.5 billion capital increase, with the biggest chunk of outside funding coming from a powerful state-owned institution.

The share sale will nearly quadruple the registered capital of the recently established unit, Chongqing Ant Consumer Finance Co., to 30 billion yuan, the equivalent of $4.7 billion. That will allow the unit to maintain a bigger balance sheet, meaning it can advance more credit to customers, and marks a step forward in a key part of Ant’s revamp.