Fubon Life to subscribe to Alibaba’s listing in HK

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Nov 20, 2019 - Page 12

Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽), an insurance unit of Taiwan’s second-biggest financial conglomerate by assets, Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), yesterday said that it plans to buy up to US$500 million of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s (阿里巴巴) new shares when it lists in Hong Kong.

That would be Fubon Life’s second investment in the Chinese online retail giant after purchasing about US$20 million of shares during its initial public offering (IPO) in New York in 2014.

The insurer said in a statement that it is upbeat about the e-commerce company’s development and would reveal the exact amount of its investment after Alibaba finalizes the share price for institutional shareholders today.

Alibaba plans to start trading in Hong Kong on Tuesday next week.

Two other major insurance companies — Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) and Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) — have yet to announce if they would participate in the Hong Kong IPO.

Shin Kong Life bought Alibaba shares in the New York IPO.

Fubon Life’s investment in overseas securities totaled NT$197.8 billion (US$6.5 billion) as of the end of June, up 3 percent from a year earlier, company data showed.

Foreign securities accounted for 5.1 percent of its total investment, behind foreign bonds at 54.2 percent, domestic bonds at 14.5 percent and domestic securities at 9.6 percent, the data showed.

The insurer is to release the latest information at an investors’ conference on Friday.

Alibaba’s Hong Kong IPO is expected to raise at least US$12 billion, marking the largest-ever IPO in the territory.

The firm is to issue 500 million new shares, with 12.5 million available to retail investors at a cap of HK$188 apiece, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

Alibaba’s US shares have risen by about one-third this year based on Monday’s closing price, which would be a benchmark for the price in the Hong Kong IPO, Bloomberg said.