CORRECTED – CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Prudential shares slip in HK after listing

(Corrects Prudential’s Singapore listing symbol in second
paragraph and removes mistated Hong Kong listing price from
headline)

* Trading volume light, about HK$12 mln in first 30 minutes

* Shares retreat about 3 percent in early trade

* Retail investor demand seen strong
(Adds details, share price)

HONG KONG, May 25 (BestGrowthStock) – Shares of British insurer
Prudential Plc (2378.HK: ) fell in early trade in a weak Hong
Kong market after debuting at HK$59.70, consistent with their
London close.

The listing of Prudential (PRU.L: )(PRTL.SI: ) shares in Hong
Kong and Singapore is by way of introduction, which means some
of the existing London-listed shares are converted to be
eligible for trading in Asia. Hence, the move does not raise
any new capital.

Prudential, which is buying American International Group
Inc’s (AIG.N: ) Asian life insurance business for $35.5 billion,
aims to raise $21 billion from a rights offering to fund the
biggest insurance deal in history.

For a related story, click [ID:nTOE64G02C].

Listing shares in Hong Kong and Singapore is aimed at
winning support from Asian investors, who are expected to be
key to the success of the rights issue.

The Hong Kong shares opened at HK$59.70, based on
Prudential’s London-listed shares close of 530.00 pence on
Monday, according to a Hong Kong stock exchange release.

By 0252 GMT, Prudential shares were trading at HKD $58.80
tracking an almost 2 percent fall in the benchmark Hang Seng
Index (.HSI: ). Traded volume in the first 20 minutes was about
HK$10 million.

Prudential’s bankers, Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX: ), HSBC
Holdings (0005.HK: ) (HSBA.L: ) and JP Morgan Cazenove, are
responsible for providing ample liquidity for the stock in the
initial days of trading.

Prudential, with a market value of $19 billion, has
converted 50.97 million shares from London in the first batch
to be traded in Hong Kong, or about 2.01 percent of its total
issued share capital.

Prudential is facing opposition to its planned takeover of
American International Assurance, with some shareholders
questioning the price the firm is paying to transform into an
insurance behemoth in Asia.

“The response is constructive … the vast majority of
shareholders are comfortable with the AIA transaction,” McGrath
told reporters after the listing of Prudential shares on the
Hong Kong stock exchange.

Despite the risks of the takeover failing, Asian retail and
institutional investors alike recognised that buying into
Prudential would also be buying into AIA, a widely known name
in the region.

The enlarged Prudential, with AIA in its fold, would offer
investors exposure to many Asian markets, unlike Chinese
insurers listed in Hong Kong, which are pure-China plays,
analysts said.

According to Prudential, absorbing AIA would make it the
largest life insurer in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. The
combined group would also be the biggest foreign insurer in
China and India, with substantial operations in the United
States and Britain.

In contrast, Hong Kong-listed insurers China Life
(2628.HK: ), China Pacific (601601.SS: ) (2601.HK: ) and Ping An
Insurance (2318.HK: ) have few businesses outside China.

Stock Market Money

CORRECTED – CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Prudential shares slip in HK after listing