Advertisement

ZhongAn aims to offer life insurance after HK share sale

ZhongAn aims to offer life insurance after HK share sale
From Reuters - September 17, 2017

HONG KONG (Reuters) - ZhongAn Online Property and Casualty Insurance Co Ltd [IPO-ZAOL.HK] plans to add life insurance and other healthcare products to the range of policies Chinas first internet-only insurer offers to accelerate its growth after going public in Hong Kong.

The company, founded by Alibaba (BABA.N) Executive Chairman Jack Ma, Tencent (0700.HK) Chairman Pony Ma and Ping An Insurance Group (2318.HK) Chairman Ma Mingzhe also plans to offer its technology to insurers inside and outside of China, it said on Sunday.

ZhongAn is offering 199.3 million new shares in an indicative range of HK$53.70 to HK$59.70 each, putting its initial public offering at up to HK$11.9 billion ($1.52 billion). Japans SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) agreed to buy a stake of just below 5 percent in ZhongAn as a cornerstone investor in the IPO, investing about $550 million.

This is a good marriage for the company in the sense that this is a very strategic, visionary investor and theyve done a lot of study into the company. Softbank is definitely a very strong stamp of approval, Chief Financial Officer Francis Tang said at a news conference.

SoftBank could make the investment through SoftBank Vision Fund, the worlds largest private equity fund, or other affiliates, ZhongAn said.

The company plans to use the new funds to bolster its capital base and cope with a 70 percent surge in gross written premiums in the three months ended March 2017, compared with the same period last year.

We are at a fast-pace growth stage, so we want to make sure that we have the sufficient capital because as an insurance company we have to have a strong capital base to do more business, Tang said. So when we see more business coming in, we want to make sure this wont become a bottleneck.

Advertisement

Continue reading at Reuters »