FWD, the Asian insurer based by the son of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, has filed for a US preliminary public providing in what can be one of many 12 months’s greatest listings.
The corporate launched by Richard Li in 2013 stated on Thursday that it had confidentially submitted filings for the IPO to the US Securities and Trade Fee. That enables it to submit paperwork to the SEC earlier than submitting a prospectus publicly.
FWD stated the variety of American depositary shares to be supplied and the value vary for the IPO had not but been decided and the timing of the itemizing was topic to regulatory approval. However the firm may search $2-3bn from the share sale, based on folks acquainted with the scenario.
FWD has expanded aggressively throughout Asia, quickly rolling out a community throughout 10 international locations together with Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia.
The insurer has nearly 10m prospects, greater than $63bn in property and about 6,100 staff in addition to 33,000 brokers.
Richard Harris, a fund supervisor at Hong Kong-based Port Shelter Funding Administration, stated FWD “has made monumental good points [in market share] as a result of it’s obtained loads of firepower behind it”.
As with Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong conglomerate, FWD “takes a strategic view on industries and invests very closely in them”, Harris stated.
He added that it was “attention-grabbing” that the insurer had chosen to listing in New York over Hong Kong, however US traders “will likely be [in FWD] and there does appear to be a slight thawing with the view in direction of Chinese language firms — and this will likely be recognised in New York as a Chinese language firm”.
Li began FWD with the $1.2bn acquisition of ING’s pension and insurance coverage companies in Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau. The enlargement technique of Huynh Thanh Phong, FWD’s chief government, has targeted on pairing strikes into new Asian markets with the usage of expertise to scale back the paperwork and complexity frequent to the business within the area.
The group has swallowed up opponents as rival monetary teams have retreated from the area, together with MetLife’s Hong Kong business and the insurance coverage enterprise of Thailand’s Siam Commercial bank, the business’s largest-ever takeover in south-east Asia.
“[SCB was] the prize asset that everyone wished to go after,” Phong told the Financial Times in an interview this 12 months. FWD finally acquired SCB for about Bt93bn ($3bn) in 2019, giving it a 36 per cent market share in Thailand in bancassurance phrases, greater than the following three teams mixed.