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On 10 June 2020, China Pacific Insurance announced an intention to float on the Shanghai-London Stock Connect segment of the London Stock Exchange, with plans to offer up to 113 million global depositary receipts (GDRs) with each GDR representing 5 A shares of the Company. The offering will represent 565.8 million A shares in the company (9.0% of its total A shares). The final offer price is yet to be determined.
The company, which has been named on the Fortune Global 500 for the past 9 years, boasts approximately 139 million customers and is one of the largest insurers in China. A successful London listing will see the company listed simultaneously in Shanghai, Hong Kong and London and would be the second IPO to take place on the Shanghai-London Connect Scheme, following the £1.3 billion IPO of Huatai Securities in June 2019.
China Pacific confirmed that global reinsurance behemoth Swiss Re has been recruited as a cornerstone investor, under the agreement that the number of GDRs to be acquired are limited to 1.5% of the shares in issue after the offering and subject to a three-year lock-up period. Swiss Re had been linked to China Pacific back in September 2019, which is when discussions about a London listing were rumoured to have begun. However, challenging market conditions followed by the disruption in market activity during the COVID-19 pandemic saw a drought in terms of new listings to the Shanghai-London collaboration. Nevertheless, Chairman KONG Qingwei remained positive about potential of the transaction, commenting:
‘We are confident that the London GDR listing will be another landmark in the development of the Company, help further strengthen the economic and trade relationship between China and the UK, and showcase the opening up of China's capital markets to the world.’
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