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Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Ant Financial, the fintech affiliate of Alibaba Group, is prepping a Hong Kong IPO that could value the business north of $200 billion, per Reuters. A company spokesman denied the report.

Why it matters: If legit, would be one of the year's largest global IPOs. It also would be a big boost for Hong Kong, whose status as a global financial hub is in flux due to new security laws from Beijing, and reflects how a growing number of Chinese tech companies are bypassing New York exchanges.

  • Alibaba first went public on the New York Stock Exchange, before later listing in Hong Kong.

Flashback: Ant Financial in mid-2018 closed the largest-ever "venture capital" investment, securing $14 billion in Series C funding at a $150 billion post-money valuation. Overall it's raised over $23 billion.

The bottom line: "Hong Kong's exchange accounted for 7.6% of the global IPO market, down from a share of 11% in the same period last year, Refinitiv data showed. The fall in value ranked Hong Kong as the fourth most active exchange after the Nasdaq, mainland China’s new Star Market and the Shanghai stock market." — Scott Murdoch, Reuters

Go deeper

JPMorgan commits $30 billion to fight the racial wealth gap


Data: Fortune 500, Axios analysis of company statements, get the data; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon, Naema Ahmed/Axios

JPMorgan Chase announced Thursday a $30 billion investment over the next five years that the company says will address some of the largest drivers of the massive wealth gap between Black and white Americans.

  • The commitment makes the bank by far the largest monetary contributor to efforts by businesses to fight systemic inequality and racism in the U.S.

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

7 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.