Ping An plans IPO of fintech unit in HK at $1.35b

HONG KONG • Ping An Insurance, China's largest insurer by market value, is gearing up for an initial public offering (IPO) of its OneConnect unit that could value the financial management portal at about US$8 billion (S$10.8 billion), according to people familiar with the matter.

Ping An is now targeting to list OneConnect in Hong Kong as early as the second half of this year, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

The share sale could raise roughly US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion). The insurance giant initially had a fundraising goal of as much as US$3 billion last year, before a volatile market forced it to push back the listing.

Ping An tempered its valuation expectations and may offer a smaller stake in the business after OneConnect's business performance was not as strong as initially projected, one person said.

A OneConnect spin-off and IPO would be one of the highest-profile deals in Hong Kong since a decelerating Chinese economy chilled public funding and the country's tech space.

It would boost Ping An's strategy to transform itself into a financial technology powerhouse.

Details of the OneConnect offering, including the valuation, could change depending on market sentiment, the people said.

OneConnect provides cloud computing and other technology services to small and medium-sized financial institutions.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2019, with the headline 'Ping An plans IPO of fintech unit in HK at $1.35b'. Print Edition | Subscribe