FWD delays Hong Kong IPO for the second time

Sources close to the matter highlight one reason

FWD delays Hong Kong IPO for the second time

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

FWD Group Holdings has opted to delay its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) for the second time in two years due to persistent market volatility.

The company, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in August, refiled its application to list on the city’s stock exchange in March of this year. The objective was to utilize the IPO proceeds to fuel growth and enhance digital capabilities and strategy, an SCMP report noted.

FWD postponed its intended US$1 billion listing, which was initially filed in February 2022 and later in May of the same year, also citing market volatility.

These attempts at Hong Kong listings followed the insurer’s decision to abandon a plan to list in New York in 2021 amid ongoing US-China tensions. Initially, the aim was to raise up to US$3 billion in New York in September 2021, a move that would have valued the company at US$13 billion.

A source familiar with the matter commented on the current situation, noting that the insurer was in no rush as it is financially strong. Meanwhile, the “market condition is not good,” the source said.

The Hang Seng Index has been on a downward trajectory, with year-to-date losses stand at 9.2%, making it the weakest performer among the world’s major stock benchmarks. This decline is attributed to overseas investors selling off holdings due to concerns about China’s challenging economic outlook and strained relations with the US.

FWD emphasized that it has not abandoned its IPO plans, saying that it “will assess the appropriate time to further re-filed the application.”

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