Richard Li-backed Asian insurer FWD seeks to raise up to $3b HK IPO

IPO

FWD Group Ltd., the Asian insurer backed by billionaire Richard Li, has picked banks for its planned Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise as much as $3 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

FWD has selected Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley to work on the potential share sale, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. HSBC Holdings Plc is also working on the offering, which could take place as soon as next year, the people said.

Deliberations are at an early stage and details of the offering could change, the people said. Representatives for FWD, HSBC, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley declined to comment, while a representative for Goldman Sachs didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

At $3 billion, FWD’s IPO would be Asia’s biggest by an insurance company since Japan Post Holdings Co.’s $5.7 billion offering in 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The insurer’s share sale will further boost Hong Kong’s IPO market, which has been dominated by listings of Chinese companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and JD.com Inc.

Founded in 2013, FWD has $50.9 billion in assets under management, according to its website. The insurer has more than 7.5 million customers and 6,200 employees across Hong Kong and Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and Malaysia. Its minority shareholders include fellow insurer Swiss Re AG, which bought a 12.3% stake in 2013, as well as GIC Ventures, RRJ Capital and Hopu Investments.

FWD has been on an acquisition spree in recent years. The Hong Kong-based insurer paid $3 billion for a life insurance business in Thailand last year, followed by a bancassurance deal with Vietnam’s biggest lender.

In June, FWD agreed to buy a significant minority stake in PT Rakyat Indonesia’s life insurer that values the business at about $1 billion, Bloomberg News reported. The firm also recently acquired two of MetLife Inc.’s Hong Kong units.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.