Dai-ichi Life planning IPO

City A.M. Reporter
Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance, Japan’s second-largest life insurer, yesterday said it would sell about 1.07 trillion yen (£7.5bn) worth of shares in the country’s biggest initial public offering (IPO) in more than a decade.

Dai-ichi Life is looking to expand overseas to offset its shrinking life insurance business in Japan as the population falls. The group plans to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on 1 April after a demutualisation in which its stock will be distributed to its more than 8m policyholders.

The company, established in 1902, will not raise any funds for its operations in the global offering, with policyholders given the option of holding on to their stock or cashing out.

Dai-ichi said more than 7m shares would be sold globally at a tentative price of 150,000 yen each. The final price will be set on 19 March after gauging investor demand. The company already has a presence in Thailand, Australia and India.

Dai-ichi’s IPO is seen as a key test for investor demand for new issues. The size of Japan’s IPO market dwindled last year to its lowest since 1992 amid the sluggish outlook for the world’s second-largest economy.

Rival Korea Life Insurance aims to raise up to $2bn (£1.3bn) in March, in what could be the country’s biggest initial public offering in four years. AIA, the Asian unit of American International Group is planning a $10bn-plus IPO in Hong Kong next month.

At the indicative price, Dai-ichi would be Japan’s biggest IPO since mobile phone company NTT DoCoMo’s 2.1 trillion yen offering in late 1998. Nomura, Mizuho Securities and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch will arrange the IPO.