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Insurer eyes funds via rights issue in HK and Shanghai
Aggregated Source: Shanghai Daily: Business

CHINA'S largest non-life insurer PICC Property and Casualty Co is raising 5.76 billion yuan (US$944 million) via a rights issue in Shanghai and Hong Kong as it bids to bolster its balance sheet.

The insurer is offering 418 million H-shares on the Hong Kong stock market at HK$5.38 (69 US cents) per share and 930 million shares in Shanghai at 4.3 yuan per share, the state-controlled insurer said a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday.

The rights issue is conducted on the basis of 1.1 new shares for every 10 existing shares held by the shareholders, according to the filing.

"The proceeds of the rights issue will primarily be used to strengthen the capital base of PICC Property and Casualty and to improve its solvency margin," the insurer said in the filing.

A report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch said the rights offer will improve PICC Property and Casualty's solvency adequacy ratio by 20 percentage points.

People's Insurance Company Group of China Ltd, the parent of PICC Property and Casualty, said on Monday it will contribute around 4 billion yuan for the subscription of allotted shares to keep its share holdings at 69 percent, according to a separate filing to the Hong Kong bourse.

American International Group Inc also has agreed to invest HK$718.1 million to retain its 9.9 percent stake in the insurer, it said on Monday.

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