NU Online News Service, Dec. 9, 2003, 5:22 p.m. EST – China Life Insurance Company Ltd., Beijing, is raising $3 billion by selling more than 153 million American depositary shares at a price of up to $18.80 each.[@@]
The company already has received about $12 billion in orders for the stock from institutional investors, but it has set aside one-fifth of the stock for individual investors, according to press reports.
China Life expects the American depositary shares to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LFC. The company’s “H shares” will trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the code 2628.
China Life, which generated about 45% of China’s life sales in 2002 and manages the equivalent of $26 billion in assets, has filed a 242-page registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The registration statement and its appendices provide a long discussion of China’s insurance market as well as a detailed look at China Life.
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The company is an offshoot of a state insurance company that the Chinese government formed in 1949. The government suspended the life operations from 1958 to 1982, then began reorganizing and restructuring the life operations in the mid-1990s.
China Life, a state-sponsored company, is now China Life’s sole shareholder. China Life will continue to own 75% of its shares after the IPO, and the company will contribute the net proceeds from the IPO to the Chinese national social security fund, China Life says.