The China Life Insurance IPO last week raised HK$23.5 billion (US$3 billion), a sum close to the top of market expectations, with investors ordering 25 times more shares than were available. Orders from institutional investors topped US$50 billion as investors clamoured for a piece of the rapidly growing Chinese economy. Retail investors in Hong Kong queued outside bank branches to apply for shares in the IPO frenzy, and committed HK$200 billion (US$25.64 billion).
China Life Insurance shares will begin trading in New York on 17 December 17 under the code LFC and the next day in Hong Kong as stock number 2628. The company sold some 6.47 billion shares at HK$3.625 apiece, at the top of the HK$2.98 to HK$3.65 per share range, raising HK$23.5 billion. Since the insurer was selling a quarter of its enlarged share capital, the IPO price valued the company at about US$12 billion.
China Life services 45 percent of the country’s small but growing life assurance market.