Top Biz News

China Pacific gets nod for $3.4b HK IPO

Updated: 2009-11-25 11:06

China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd, China's third-largest life insurer, has received government approval for its long-delayed plan to float shares in Hong Kong to raise at least 23.3 billion yuan ($3.4 billion).

The China Securities Regulatory Commission has approved the company's plan to list up to 990 million shares overseas, the insurance group said on Wednesday.

The Shanghai-based insurer had said it would price its Hong Kong IPO at no less than 23.52 yuan a share.

The listing plan will still need approval from the Hong Kong exchange, where a hearing is set for Thursday.

Related readings:
China Pacific gets nod for $3.4b HK IPO China Pacific plans Hong Kong public float later this year
China Pacific gets nod for $3.4b HK IPO China Pacific Insurance's premium income dips in Jan
China Pacific gets nod for $3.4b HK IPO China Pacific, Ping An make profit taking
China Pacific gets nod for $3.4b HK IPO Strong debut for China Pacific

China Pacific, part-owned by US private equity firm Carlyle Group, is taking advantage of a stock market revival this year to raise money and compete more aggressively with bigger rivals Ping An Insurance (Group) Co and China Life Insurance Co.

The company suspended a Hong Kong share offer plan last year due to the global financial crisis.

"The Hong Kong IPO would have a positive impact on China Pacific's A-share price in the short term," said Yang Jianhai, analyst at Guosen Securities Co. "The challenge in the long term is how to improve its return on equity."

China Pacific Shanghai-listed A shares rose 1.3 percent to 25.69 yuan in early trade on Wednesday, compared with a virtually flat benchmark Shanghai Composite Index. The stock has gained 130 percent this year, far outperforming the benchmark's 77 percent rise.

China Pacific has hired China International Capital Corp, Credit Suisse, UBS and Goldman Sachs to help arrange the Hong Kong share sale, people familiar with the matter told Reuters in July.