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March 1, 2022

FWD submits application for $1bn Hong Kong IPO

Asian insurance firm FWD Group has announced that it has filed a listing application with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. 

Billionaire Richar Li-backed insurer did not reveal the size or timing of the initial public offering. 

FWD is looking to raise up to $1bn through the Hong Kong IPO, Reuters reported citing sources. 

The insurer feels that the listing could happen by mid-2022, which depends on the market conditions, the sources said adding that the size and timing of the IPO could change. 

Notably, FWD had planned to raise up to $3bn from its US IPO but decided against it.

US authorities blocked FDW’s US IPO citing the Chinese government’s crackdown on fintech firms.

Later, FWD received preliminary approval from the US authorities to carry out a marketing roadshow to investors, but never received a full clearance.

In its filing, FWD stated that currently, it does not sell any insurance products or operate an insurance business in China but it is exploring opportunities for expansion.  

Founded in 2013, FWD is a pan-Asian life insurer, which claims to cater to ten million customers across ten markets. 

It has already raised $1.6bn through private placement from backers that include Apollo Global Management, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Swiss Re, ORIX Corp, Siam Commercial Bank and Huatai Securities.

In 2021, FWD recorded a net profit of $249m after recording net losses of $332m and $252m in 2019 and 2020, respectively. 

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