China Pacific Hires Banks for Hong Kong IPO

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd, part-owned by the Carlyle Group, has hired China International Capital Corp (CICC) and three other investment banks to arrange its Hong Kong initial public offering, two people with direct knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday.

China’s third-largest life insurer, reviving its plans for an overseas IPO, has appointed CICC as the lead underwriter, and hired Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX), UBS (UBS.N) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to help arrange the share sale, the people said. They declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak with the media.

Shanghai-listed China Pacific (601601.SS) said on July 17 that it would resume plans for a Hong Kong IPO, after attempts last year failed due to the global financial crisis.

The insurer plans to sell as many as 1 billion shares, potentially raising around 24 billion yuan ($3.5 billion) based on the valuation of its China-traded A shares.

Several Chinese companies are resurrecting shelved Hong Kong IPO plans as they take advantage of stock market rebounds fuelled by ample liquidity and optimism over a global economic recovery.

China Minsheng Banking Corp (600016.SS) aims to raise about 20 billion yuan ($2.93 billion) selling shares publicly in Hong Kong this year.

Chinese coal mining equipment maker Sany Heavy Equipment Co Ltd aims to raise at least HK$1.56 billion ($200 million) in an IPO in the city in the fourth quarter, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported on Wednesday.

China Pacific is about 17 percent owned by U.S. private equity firm Carlyle [CYL.UL], which became an investor in late 2005.

China Pacific’s planned Hong Kong IPO is still subject to approval from shareholders at an Aug. 31 meeting, the company has said. (US$1=6.832 Yuan)

(Reporting by Clare Jim and Samuel Shen; Editing by Edmund Klamann)