Chinese insurer PICC Group plans $2b Shanghai share offering

A man walks past an electronic board showing the benchmark Shanghai and Shenzhen stock indices, on a pedestrian overpass at the Pudong financial district in Shanghai, China, June 26, 2015. REUTERS/Aly Song

PICC Group, parent of the nation’s biggest non-life insurer, said it plans to sell shares in mainland China as it seeks fresh funds to expand, in a deal valued at about $2 billion.

PICC Group‘s listing in China would come more than four years after the company went public in a $3.1 billion offering in Hong Kong. The shares posted gains initially and peaked in mid-2015, but have since tumbled, trading 43 percent below its high two years ago.

People’s Insurance Company (Group) of China (PICC) , as the company is formally called, said late on Tuesday that it plans to sell not more than 4.6 billion shares in Shanghai, pending approvals from its shareholders and Chinese regulators.

Its stock price rose 2.1 percent in Wednesday afternoon trade, valuing the proposed offering at HK$15.3 billion ($2 billion). The company is the parent of PICC Property and Casualty Co Ltd.

The deal would be equivalent to 10 percent of PICC Group‘s enlarged share capital after theoffering.

The stock has gained 9.2 percent since the beginning of the year, lagging a 15 percent rise in the benchmark Hang Seng index .

PICC Group said in February its vice chairman was being investigated for suspected “serious disciplinary violations,” a term commonly used in China for corruption.

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