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Ping An plans additional share issue
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China's Ping An Insurance Group plans to issue new shares and bonds worth billions of yuan to reinforce its capital base and finance acquisitions, company sources said Sunday.


The nation's second largest life insurer will apply for shareholders' approval to issue 1.2 billion A-shares traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange at a par value of one yuan (14 US cents) each.


The new shares, to be sold to institutional and public investors, will represent 14 percent of the insurer's enlarged capital. By last Friday, Ping An had 720 billion yuan in market value, with the closing price of its shares at 98.21 yuan each.


The Shenzhen-based company will also issue no more than 41.2 billion yuan worth of convertible bonds with warrants which entitle the purchase of its shares. The bonds will have a term of six years.


Ping An purchased 4.18 percent of Belgian financial service provider Fortis from the stock markets for 1.81 billion euros last November. The deal, which was an ordinary financial investment, made Ping An the biggest single shareholder of Fortis.


The Chinese insurer listed in Hong Kong in 2004 and in Shanghai last year.


(Xinhua News Agency January 21, 2008)


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