Prudential raises $22.5b to pay debts

Finance | Caroline Zheng 20 Sep 2021

Prudential (2378) plans to raise up to HK$22.5 billion in a share placement.

The new shares will be offered at up to HK$172 apiece, a 9 percent premium to Friday's closing price. They will be traded on October 4. And pricing is expected on September 25.

HK$17.5 billion is to redeem high coupon debt and the rest for Asian and African investments.

Now is a good time for Prudential to pare debts when its share price is at a relatively high level, said Anli Securities chairman Andrew Wong.

Even the stock market saw prices drop for a few days last week and sentiment is relatively low, but market liquidity is still strong.

Besides, he said, China's tech crackdown may prompt investors to eye other opportunities in Hong Kong-listed stocks.

Everbright Sun Hung Kai Securities strategist Kenny Ng Lai-yin said the London-based insurer may try to expand its mainland presence by increasing its investor base in Hong Kong, like AIA Group (1299), with the recovery of mainland insurers being relatively weak this year.

The insurer has set up a joint venture in the mainland and is open to increasing its stake in it, said executive director James Turner.



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