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PICC gets nod for A-share listing

By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-29 08:20

Mainland's State-owned insurer and financial conglomerate PICC Group's application for a public offering on the A-share market has been approved by the authorities. Any such offering, if successful, would enable the company raise more than 12 billion yuan ($1.8 billion).

The Hong Kong-listed company said on Wednesday that the China Securities Regulatory Commission has accepted its application for an A-share listing.

The company said that it plans to issue no more than 4.599 billion shares in an initial public offering, accounting for 9.78 percent of its equity base. H-share equities would account for 18.56 percent of its equity base, and the remaining 71.66 percent would be shares issued by domestic companies.

The funds raised through the A-share IPO could be somewhere between 12 billion yuan and 14 billion yuan, based on the insurer's recent share price.

PICC shares closed on Thursday at HK$3.48.

Sheng Hetai, vice executive of PICC Group, said at its latest interim result briefing on Aug 31 that the insurer's plan to return to the A-share market is proceeding smoothly, and detailed time for completing the public offering is dependent on A-share market conditions and regulators' decisions.

The insurer planned to get listed both in A-share and H-share markets in 2015, but the scheme was suspended due to regulatory issues.

Interim results showed that PICC group realized revenue of 262.13 billion yuan, a 4.56 percent year-on-year increase, with net profit of 8.82 billion yuan, a 14.1 percent year-on-year increase.

Premium income from property insurance was 179.3 billion yuan, which accounted for a 34 percent market share in mainland's property insurance sector.

PICC was listed in Hong Kong in 2012.

According to Haitong Securities, listed insurers in China have further potential for income and net profit growth in the next few years as demand for protection expand fast.

"Demand for life insurance and non-life insurance will both rise fast amid demographic changes with more population mobility and more awareness of the need for protection of health. Property insurance, particularly for vehicle insurance, will grow fast," the report said.

PICC group is mainland's largest life insurer, and its property insurance subsidiary PICC P&C is the largest property insurer in mainland, based on premium income and market share, according to the interim result of all Chinese insurers in the first half of 2017.

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