China’s Lufax said to seek US IPO as early as this year

IPO

Lufax, one of China’s largest online wealth management platforms backed by financial giant Ping An Insurance Group, is seeking a U.S. initial public offering as early as this year, people with direct knowledge told Reuters.

The Shanghai-based company has enlisted Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan and UBS to work on the offering, according to three of the people, who declined to be named due to confidentiality constraints. The banks declined to comment.

Lufax is currently preparing the confidential filing for the IPO, two of them said. It has not decided how much to raise in the offering or the valuation, the people added.

The company was valued at $38 billion before its latest fundraising in 2018, Reuters reported at the time.

The company declined to comment.

Chinese companies have raised $47.5 billion from initial and secondary public offerings this year, nearly half of the global volume, Refinitiv data showed. Only 6% of the total 237 offerings made so far this year have been in U.S. markets due to tightened regulatory scrutiny amid China-U.S. tensions.

Some Chinese fintech companies nevertheless have found it easier to list in the United States than in Hong Kong where they have to satisfy the bourse’s Listing Committee of their suitability, a step not required in the United States.

The committee has previously rejected companies whose business models it had doubts over. Cryptocurrency miner makers for example Canaan and Ebang went on to list in the U.S after being denied by Hong Kong.

Lufax will be following OneConnect Financial Technology, another fintech company backed by Ping An, which raised $312 million in December and has seen its shares more than double since.

Set up in 2011 as a P2P platform by Ping An, Lufax has however been exiting the once core business as China cracked down on the sector to contain financial risks.

The startup postponed a Hong Kong float slated for the first half of 2018 amid uncertainty over China’s consumer lending regulation, sources have said.

Later that year, it raised $1.33 billion at a lowered valuation from a dozen investors.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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

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  • 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. 
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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.