China Pacific not required to list at home

China Pacific Insurance, which is planning to raise US$1 billion in an initial public offering in Hong Kong, will not be required to sell shares in the mainland, people familiar with the situation said.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission, intent on boosting the profile of the domestic markets it oversees, was pushing for the mainland's third-largest insurer to list A shares, market sources said.

Other regulators, such as the China Insurance Regulatory Commission and the China Banking Regulatory Commission, support a single listing.

A sole Hong Kong listing 'has not yet been officially finalised but is expected', one source said.

Other sources, while aware that the deal was headed in that direction, cautioned that the CSRC could still win the day. UBS, JP Morgan and BOCI are arranging the sale.

China Pacific planned to sell shares as early as the fourth quarter but that has been postponed to next year after the removal of chairman Wang Guoliang in August.


Mr Wang was pushed out by the authorities upset with China Pacific's investments in the education sector, sources said. That violated a regulatory ban on investments in non-insurance assets.

The CSRC is trying to build up the domestic capital markets after the share reform programme that saw more than 60 per cent of market capitalisation, effectively controlled by the government, converted into tradable shares.

Larger rivals China Life Insurance and Ping An Insurance (Group) have announced plans to raise funds domestically as early as next year, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

The two insurers listed in overseas markets such as Hong Kong when the years-long, weak performance of domestic exchanges made a local listing unappealing.


China Pacific accounted for almost 10 per cent of the mainland's 365 billion yuan life insurance sales last year. The company took 11 per cent of the property and casualty premiums, making it the second-largest non-life insurer in the mainland.