June 17, 2020 / 12:12 PM / 15 days ago

China's CPIC boosts IPO market with $1.8 billion London listing

LONDON (Reuters) - Shares in China Pacific Insurance Co (CPIC) rose on their London debut on Wednesday after the company completed the largest fund raising on the London Stock Exchange in three years, sparking hopes of a revival in the market for initial public offerings.

In a boost for a stock exchange link-up between Britain and China designed to improve investment and trade between the countries, CPIC (601601.SS) CPICq.L completed a $1.8 billion listing of global depositary receipts (GDRs) at $17.60 each.

This makes it the biggest fundraising exercise in London since AIB in June 2017, according to a London Stock Exchange official. The GDRs were up 2% at $17.96 at 12.00 GMT.

“The listing will support our expansion into new markets and facilitate the company in introducing high-quality investors around the world,” said Kong Qingwei, chairman and executive director at CPIC.

The final price suggested a roughly 10% discount to CPIC’s A-shares in Shanghai. Insurance giant Swiss Re (SRENH.S) bought 28.9 million GDRs in the offer.

“A lot of investors are sitting on cash and looking to invest, so the market backdrop as a whole is surprisingly good, albeit fragile,” said a source involved in the transaction.

“This does open up the September window if we take some of the best practice on video conferencing and shorter roadshows from recent deals,” he added.

The London-Shanghai Stock Connect scheme was launched in 2018 to allow Shanghai-listed companies to add a secondary listing in London and vice versa. (LSE.L) SSEOV

The scheme has been hit by delays, most recently after China pulled the plug on new listings in December due to political concerns. They changed stance earlier this year.

SDIC (600886.SS) and China Yantze Power (600900.SS) could launch London listings later this year, bankers said. UBS and Huatai were joint global coordinators on CPIC.

Reporting by Huw Jones and Abhinav Ramnarayan; Editing by Tom Arnold, Mark Potter and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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