Quick Take: China’s Oldest Insurer Files for A-Share Listing
PICC Group, China’s oldest national insurance company, said it is planning an IPO in China, complementing its existing Hong Kong listing, as it seeks to raise cash to bolster its balance sheet.
People's Insurance Company (Group) of China, or PICC, said it plans to issue up to 4.6 billion A-shares, equal to up to about 9.78% of its total count, according to a regulatory filing made late on Tuesday. Based on its current market capitalization of about $18 billion, the proposed offering could raise up to $1.76 billion.
The company’s shares already trade in Hong Kong, following an IPO that raised about $3 billion in 2012. Those shares now trade about 6% below their IPO price, as investors have worried about the balance sheets of major Chinese insurance companies.
Addressing those concerns, PICC has said it would use money from the A-share listing to boost its capital.
For the year 2016, PICC reported a profit attributable to its parent company of 14.25 billion yuan ($2.07 billion), down 27% from the previous year. It attributed the decline to market volatility and also a rash of national disasters that forced it to make more payouts than usual.
Founded in 1949, the company is China’s first national insurer and is currently its largest focused on non-life insurance products.
Contact reporter Yang Ge (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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