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PICC gears up for Hong Kong IPO

By Wang Xinyuan (Global Times)

09:11, November 27, 2012

The State-owned People's Insurance Company (Group) of China, or PICC Group, China's fourth largest insurer by income on premiums, had a total of 6.9 billion shares available for its Hong Kong listing, the company said Monday, estimating it could finance up to HK$27.8 billion ($4.4 billion), the biggest IPO in Hong Kong in two years.

PICC Group is offering 6.55 billion shares under the international offering and 344.9 million shares for public subscription in Hong Kong at a price range of HK$3.42 to 4.03 per share, the company said in a prospectus issued Monday with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The group's IPO would be the largest in Hong Kong since October 2010, when AIA, the Asian life insurance arm of American International Group (AIG), raised $17.9 billion.

The trading of PICC Group's Hong Kong-listed shares will commence on December 7, the group said.

"The IPO will help subsidiaries to develop," a staffer at PICC Life Insurance, a PICC Group subsidiary, told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.

The IPO highlights the group's urgent need for capital and would be a credit positive for its major insurance subsidiaries, credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service said in a press release sent to the Global Times Monday.

"The proceeds would replenish their capital bases. The subsidiaries' capital adequacy levels have been under negative pressure owing to their rapid premium growth over the past few years," Moody's said.

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