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China Taiping Surges on Restructuring Proposal: Hong Kong Mover

China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co., the first overseas-listed Chinese insurer, soared the most in more than four-and-a-half years after saying it would buy 10.6 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) of assets from its parent.

The shares jumped 15 percent to HK$14.20 at the close in Hong Kong trading, the biggest advance since October 2008. The stock was the best performer on the MSCI China Index.

Under the deal, China Taiping will issue 862.7 million shares at HK$15.39 apiece to pay for unlisted assets from parent China Taiping Insurance Group Co. The restructuring will help the insurer consolidate its business in China and capture growth potential, Deutsche Bank AG analyst Esther Chwei wrote in a report today.

“The transaction will have minimal dilution impact on minority shareholders, which should alleviate market concerns,” wrote Chwei, who maintained a buy recommendation on the stock.

Standard Chartered Bank analysts led by Hong Kong-based Jennifer Law upgraded the stock to outperform from in-line and raised the price target to HK$25.20 from HK$18.10, noting that the transaction price is “much lower” than the bank’s and market expectations.

“With the overhang from the company’s restructuring finally removed, stronger-than-peers growth prospects, and the limited downside risk on the prudent assumptions, we see a compelling buy case for China Taiping,” the analysts wrote in a report today.

China Taiping Insurance Holdings said April 19 it may acquire assets from its parent.

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