Insurer FWD delays $1bn Hong Kong IPO: sources

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Asian insurer FWD Group has delayed its $1 billion initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong due to financial market volatility, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

FWD declined to comment. The sources could not be named as the information has not yet been made public.

FWD has a commercial presence in 10 markets in Asia.

The insurer, controlled by Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li, had planned to list in the United States last year to raise $2-3 billion, but returned to Hong Kong after approval was delayed regulatory.

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Insurer FWD gets approval for Hong Kong IPO

However, with financial markets rocked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising interest rates making investors increasingly reluctant to buy new equity issues, the group decided to delay the IPO, the sources said.

The insurer has raised $1.6 billion in two private funding rounds since December, which reduced the amount FWD expected to raise in the Hong Kong IPO, a source previously told Reuters. After those rounds, FWD was valued at around $9 billion.

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A $1 billion FWD IPO would have given Hong Kong’s struggling equity markets a much-needed boost in 2022.

Hong Kong equity sales are down 90% so far this year from 2021, the slowest start to the year since 2013, according to Refinitiv data.

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong; editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Lincoln Feast)

Photography: Photo credit: FWD Group Holdings

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Carriers

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