Ping An said to prepare for IPO of fintech arm at $8b valuation

The Ping An Insurance Group Co. logo is displayed atop the Ping An International Financial Center (IFC) in Beijing, China, on Wednesday, Aug. 9 2017. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., China’s largest insurer by market value, is gearing up for an initial public offering of its OneConnect unit that could value the financial management portal at about $8 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Ping An is now targeting to list OneConnect in Hong Kong as soon as the second half of this year, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The share sale could raise roughly $1 billion, according to the people.

The insurance giant initially had a fundraising goal of as much as $3 billion last year, before an increasingly volatile market forced it to push back the listing. Ping An tempered its valuation expectations and may offer a smaller stake in the business after OneConnect’s business performance wasn’t as strong as initially projected, one person said.

A OneConnect spinoff and IPO would be one of the highest-profile deals in Hong Kong since a rapidly decelerating Chinese economy chilled public funding and the country’s tech space. It would help propel Ping An’s longer-term strategy to transform itself into a financial technology powerhouse.

The tech-heavy MSCI China Index has risen 20 percent from its January low. Deliberations are still at an early stage, and details of the OneConnect offering including the valuation and fundraising size could change depending on market sentiment, the people said. Gareth Hewett, a spokesman for the company, declined to comment.

OneConnect provides cloud computing and other technology services to small- and medium-sized financial institutions. It’s partnered with more than 460 banks as well as over 1,800 other financial services firms from insurers and brokerages to fund managers and private-equity houses, according to Ping An’s 2017 annual report. The Ping An subsidiary has previously raised $650 million in a series A financing round that valued the company at $7.4 billion.

Ping An last year spun off and floated Ping An Healthcare and Technology Co. That company, known as Good Doctor, provides platforms used by hospitals, insurers and pharmacies.

Bloomberg

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

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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.