Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li is weighing investing about $200 million in his insurance company FWD Group Holdings Ltd. as part of a funding round, people familiar with the matter said.

An investment would help support the insurer’s growth plans ahead of a long-awaited Hong Kong initial public offering, which could take place as soon as 2023, the people said. Other investors have also shown early interest in a fundraising for FWD ahead of its listing, the people said.

FWD’s dollar bond maturing in 2024 rose 1.3 cents on Monday, and is set for the most daily gains in about two weeks.

Richard Li, chairman and CEO of Hong Kong’s Pacific Century Group, FWD’s parent company. Photo credit: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg

Terms of the funding round are still under consideration and details such as the size could change, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. A representative for FWD declined to comment.

FWD refiled an application for a Hong Kong IPO in September against a backdrop of market volatility, giving the firm more time to prepare for the first-time share sale. It could seek to raise about $1 billion from the IPO, Bloomberg News has reported.

The insurer’s value of new business rose 24.6% year over year to $405 million in the first half of 2022, on a constant exchange rate basis, the company said at the time. While FWD reported an adjusted loss of $333 million for the six months ended June 30, its operating profit before tax jumped about 111% to $200 million from the same period in 2021.

FWD a year ago raised more than $1.6 billion in private placements with investors including an insurer backed by Apollo Global Management Inc. The placements were set to value the company at about $9 billion, which would imply about 1.2 to 1.3 times its embedded value, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

–With assistance from Alice Huang.

Photograph: A digital billboard advertising FWD Group Holdings Ltd. atop a building in Hong Kong, China, on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. Photo credit: Lam Yik/Bloomberg


Copyright 2022 Bloomberg.

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