An initial public offering (IPO) from Alibaba's finance arm, Ant Financial, could propel the company to become a prominent, international brand name this year, according to CFRA Research's head of tech sector equity research.
Scott Kessler told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday Ant Financial was growing in a thriving financial technology - fintech - environment and an IPO would also benefit parent company Alibaba "substantially."
"They already partake in some of the profits from Ant Financial, and really have the ability to take a very significant stake upon the confirmation of an IPO," he said.
Ant Financial runs China's biggest payments service, Alipay, which has about 450 million active users and processes 170 million transactions per day.
Last October, a person familiar with Ant Financial's IPO plans told CNBC the company was "closer to an initial public offering" but no timeline was given.
A spokeswoman for Ant Financial did not immediately return CNBC's request for a comment on Wednesday regarding updates to the IPO status.