People’s Insurance Company of China Group (PICC) was founded in 1949, and has 2.42 million institutional insurance clients and about 130 million individual insurance customers. It is controlled by China’s Ministry of Finance, with an 88.7 per cent stake, while the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) holds the remaining 11.3 per cent. It was due to hold an initial public offering in Hong Kong in November 2012.
Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories . . .
PICC Group lists in Hong Kong
Mainland non-life insurer PICC Group lists on the Hong Kong stock market in an offering that was more than 16 times oversubscribed, boosted by record buy orders from state-controlled firms. Despite the support, People's Insurance Company (Group) of China priced its shares at the bottom end of the indicative range, at HK$3.48.
China gets a bite of Apple's latest
Apple's wildly successful iPhone 5 and iPad mini are finally - legitimately - reaching the world's second-biggest economy. Apple says the iPad mini will be made available from today and the iPhone 5 from next week. The Chinese market has become increasingly important to Apple, contributing revenue of US$23.8 billion in Apple's fiscal year ended in September, accounting for 15 per cent of the tech giant's total revenue.
Top vintages go under the hammer
Hong Kong further cements its reputation as the world's leading centre for wine auctions as Sotheby's holds a two-day sale of top European vintages. The city's 21 major wine auctions in the year up to the end of last month yielded more than US$130 million, and with the most expensive lots in the Sotheby's sale expected to fetch more than HK$550,000 for 12 bottles, the total is sure to increase, reflecting a growing interest in wine on the mainland and zero excise duty.
Ban Ki-moon meets Syrian refugees
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sees at first hand the human cost of the crisis in Syria when he visits refugee camps accommodating some of the thousands of Syrians who have spilled over the border into Turkey. Ban is also due to hold talks with Turkish officials over the crisis. Some 11,000 refugees crossed the border in just 24 hours one day last month, and four million Syrians are expected to require humanitarian aid by the end of the year, the United Nations estimates.
Bird festival begins at sensitive time
The 7th Dongting Lake International Bird-watching Festival begins in the city of Yueyang in Hunan province. The event, co-hosted by the State Forestry Administration and Hunan provincial government, aims to promote protection of birds and the ecological environment in the province. This year's event is being held at a sensitive time after a public outcry sparked by a documentary that exposed the mass poaching of birds migrating to the lake, to be sold to restaurants as delicacies.
Clinton makes Belfast return
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives in Belfast, a city where her husband is still hailed as a hero for his role in bringing peace to the troubled province. Clinton will also visit Dublin as part of her official visit. In 2009, she became the most senior overseas official to address Northern Ireland's Assembly, 11 years after then-president Bill Clinton's historic journey to the province.