Four investment banks have been named to jointly underwrite the global share sale of China Life Insurance aimed at raising up to US$3 billion, bankers said. Mandates to act as joint global co-ordinators for the sale were awarded to Salomon Smith Barney, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) and China International Capital Corp (CICC) on Tuesday, the bankers said yesterday. CICC is an investment banking joint venture between Morgan Stanley and China Construction Bank. China Life, the mainland's largest life insurer, is reportedly aiming to raise between US$2 billion and US$3 billion through its listing, preferably in Hong Kong. However, bankers said the heavy actuarial and accounting work for restructuring the insurer could mean a listing might not take place for nine to 12 months. China Life is the latest state-owned insurer to have finalised its underwriting syndicate for an overseas listing. Morgan Stanley and CICC have been hired as lead underwriters for the listing of the People's Insurance Co of China (PICC), the mainland's largest property insurer, while Ping An Insurance's share sale will be arranged by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, HSBC Holdings and BOC International (Holdings). Of the three listing candidates, bankers believe PICC has the best chance of being first to come to market, initially slotted for either July or September. China Life's appointment of Salomon came despite concerns it could expose information about China Life to possible United States rivals under the Citigroup umbrella. Those could include Travelers Life & Annuity and Travelers Property Casualty.