Great Eastern raises US$555 million selling New China Life shares

SINGAPORE (Bloomberg) - Mainboard-listed Great Eastern Holdings, the insurance arm of Singapore's second-largest bank, raised US$555 million (S$756.08 million) selling shares of New China Life Insurance Co. after a rally in the Chinese company's stock.

Great Eastern sold 85 million New China Life shares at HK$50.65 each, a 3.7 per cent discount to the stock's last close, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg. The offering was priced near the low end of the marketed range of HK$50.50 to HK$51.80 a share, the terms show.

New China Life shares have risen 21 per cent in Hong Kong trading since the end of March, helped by surging inflows from Chinese investors that propelled equities in the city to the biggest rally worldwide last week. Great Eastern bought US$380 million of stock as a so-called cornerstone investor in New China Life's Hong Kong IPO in 2011.

New China Life has risen 85 per cent since the listing in the city. Great Eastern owned 10 percent of the company's Hong Kong-traded shares before the sale, according to data compiled by Bloomberg..

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC also took advantage of the surge in Hong Kong shares, raising US$65.4 million selling shares in equipment lessor Far East Horizon Ltd., according to terms for the sale obtained by Bloomberg on Tuesday.

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