China Life Races to Beat Rivals to Market with $3Bn Flotation

Article excerpt

CHINA'S BIGGEST life insurerer, China Life, is set to beat its rivals in the race to become the first to list overseas with an initial public offering to raise up to $3bn (pounds 1.9bn).

The state-owned insurer is expected to file a request to float on the Hong Kong and New York stock exchanges in the next few days and may list as early as next month. It had planned to raise up to $2bn, but Wang Xianzhang, president of the company, said yesterday that bumper profits last year had led its advisers to push China Life to raise more.

A listing in September is likely to make China Life the first of three Chinese insurers to go public in Hong Kong. It is being advised by Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank and China International Capital Corporation.

The People's Insurance Company of China (PICC) and Ping An are also hungry for fresh capital to sell their products to China's 1.3 billion-strong population. …