Zhong An looking to raise US$1 billion in Hong Kong listing

Online-only insurer pushes through with its Hong Kong listing plans after briefly considering a mainland IPO

Zhong An looking to raise US$1 billion in Hong Kong listing

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Zhong An Online Property and Casualty Insurance is expecting to raise US$1 billion or more in its forthcoming Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) in the latter half of 2017, according to sources.

In October 2016, Zhong An tapped Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, and UBS to advise its first IPO plan, but it later scrapped the plan to look at a listing in the mainland.

The insurer, whose major shareholders include Chinese internet giant Tencent and Alibaba-owned Ant Financial, will likely apply for a listing in the next few weeks, reports Reuters, citing an anonymous source.

“Zhong An has always wanted to list at home but given an A-share IPO is unlikely in the short-term, the company has to come back to Hong Kong to go public and raise fresh capital to expand its business first,” said the source. A-shares are a type of share on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges.

“A domestic listing later is certainly under consideration,” the source added.

Earlier, Hong Kong Stock Exchange chief executive Charles Li said that Zhong An listing in Hong Kong would be a victory, due to the bourse’s stringent profitability and voting rights requirements turning off several tech firms from listing.

In 2014, Alibaba chose New York over Hong Kong for its record-setting IPO, which fetched US$21.8 billion.

Related stories:
Chinese insurance giant eyeing US$2 billion share offering
Zhong An to raise $1 billion in share sale
Three new insurers join the fray in China

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