Shares of Ping An Insurance (Group) rose strongly yesterday amid market rumours that the company will revise its mega refinancing plan, thus quelling worries of a glut in tradable shares on the A-share market. The company's H shares closed 5 per cent higher at HK$62.95. It was the biggest blue-chip gainer. Its A shares in Shanghai rose 3.17 per cent to 57 yuan (HK$63.49), bucking the bearish market. Instead of tapping the A-share market for as much as 120 billion yuan as originally planned, the Shenzhen insurer was considering placing up to 20 per cent of its H shares with investors in Hong Kong, a major Ping An shareholder said. At yesterday's closing price, the placement may raise as much as HK$32.21 billion. 'The insurer will table the idea at the coming annual general meeting,' said the shareholder, who asked not to be named. He said a notice about the meeting sent to shareholders recently contained a proposal to place shares in Hong Kong. Ping An has not mentioned any plan to turn to bank borrowings in lieu of an offering in the secondary market. The meeting will be held on May 13 in Shenzhen, where China's second-largest insurer is based. Another major shareholder acknowledged Ping An's plan to issue additional shares in Hong Kong. 'The insurer is more interested in considering alternative fund-raising channels, given the government's recent initiatives to boost the mainland stock market,' he said. After shareholders of both classes - holding H and A shares - overwhelmingly approved the plan to raise funds on the market on March 5, the insurer's initiative was stalled by sluggish investor sentiment. For its next step, Ping An approached its board just before its annual results announcement and won approval for a mandate to issue no more than 20 per cent of existing H shares in the next 12 months. The insurer also might opt for a private placement to select banks, including Postal Savings Bank of China and China Construction Bank Corp, the China Times reported yesterday. 'We won't take a penny from mainland shareholders,' the newspaper reported, citing an unidentified company source. A Ping An spokesman denied the report, saying the original funding plan was still in progress. In January, Ping An said it would issue shares and convertible bonds to raise about 120 billion yuan on the A-share market, but it did not say how the proceeds would be used. Mainland retail investors complained Ping An's huge refinancing plan had put a dent in investment sentiment. On Sunday, the mainland securities regulator announced a move to bolster the fragile stock market. Listed firms will be required to transfer previously locked-up shares in block trades instead of on the open market.