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May 31, 2022

Life insurer FWD postpones Hong Kong IPO citing market volatility

FWD Group has postponed its initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong stock exchange due to unstable market conditions, Bloomberg has reported citing unknown sources.

The pan-Asian life insurance firm could push ahead with the IPO when markets stablise, the sources said.

Earlier this month, the billionaire Richar Li-backed insurer received approval for its Hong Kong IPO, Bloomberg News has reported.

However, FWD had not decided the timeline to launch the offering, the sources have said.

FWD had planned to raise around $1bn through its Hong Kong IPO.

The insurer had filed a listing application with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in late February this year.

Initially, FWD had planned to list in the US, where it could raise up to $3bn.

The insurer’s US listing plans hit a roadblock because the regulators were concerned about China extending its authority to firms like FWD.

Hong Kong-based FWD was founded in 2013 and claims to cater to ten million customers across ten markets.

Notably, according to FWD’s filing, the insurer does not have an insurance business in mainland China, but it is looking for opportunities to expand there.

Backed by the likes of Apollo Global Management, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Swiss Re, ORIX Corp, Siam Commercial Bank and Huatai Securities, FWD has already raised $1.6bn via private placements.

China Merchants Bank International, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs are the joint sponsors of the insurer’s Hong Kong IPO.

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