The leading Chinese online insurance company, ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance Co, started trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange earlier today. Its shares jumped to as high as HK$70.50 in early morning trading, compared with the HK$59.70 IPO price, before closing at HK$65.20, still an impressive 9.2% increase. The company raised US$1.5 billion in its Hong Kong IPO making it the largest IPO since April on that exchange.
ZhongAn’s IPO will likely make the company the 4th most valuable fintech company in the world with a market cap of about US$10.4 billion, following the top three fintechs, which are Paypal ($78bn), Ant Financial ($68bn) and Lufax ($18bn).
As the financial research firm Infocast estimated based on information from local brokers, applications for ZhongAn’s share offering last week attracted demand of nearly 400 times the number of shares on offer, which means ZhongAn might be the most popular IPO in the Hong Kong stock market for the past two years.
Peter Renton interviewed the CEO of ZhongAn Insurance, Jeffrey Chen, on the Lend Academy Podcast over the summer. Jeffrey said in the interview that ZhongAn has 492 million insurance customers as of December 31, 2016. That is more than four times that of insurance giant AXA’s customer base (107 million, as of December 31, 2016). By this measure, ZhongAn truly is the world’s largest insurance company. And this is just a four-year old company! [Read more…]