By P.R. Venkat
Prudential PLC (LON:UK:PRU) is planning to raise up to 22.49 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.89 billion) by issuing new shares as the insurer looks to redeem high-coupon debt due in six months and invest for growth.
The U.K. insurer is planning to sell 130.78 million new shares in the Hong Kong offer and has set a maximum price of HK$172 per share, Prudential said Monday.
The final price is expected to be determined on Sept. 25 and the new shares would start trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Oct. 4.
“The board believes that there are clear benefits to the group and to its shareholders as a whole from increasing its Asian shareholder base and the liquidity of its shares in Hong Kong,” Prudential said.
On business prospects, the company said that significant COVID-19 related restrictions continue in many markets including Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. There also was continuing uncertainty over the extent and the timing of the reopening of border between Hong Kong and mainland China.
“Prudential is now entirely focused on long-term structural growth opportunities in Asia and Africa,” Chief Executive Mike Wells said. “The share offer will maintain and enhance Prudential’s financial flexibility in light of the breadth of opportunities to invest for growth.”
Citigroup, Credit Suisse, BofA Securities are among banks advising prudential on the offering.