China's Lufax picks banks for up to $5 bln Hong Kong IPO - IFR

HONG KONG, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Chinese online wealth management firm Lufax has hired five banks to work on an up to $5 billion Hong Kong initial public offering, IFR reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Lufax, backed by Ping An Insurance, has mandated Citic Securities, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as joint sponsors for the float, according to IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication.

Lufax, valued at $18.5 billion in its last fundraising round in January 2016, could be raising $3 billion-$5 billion in the IPO as early as the first half of 2018, IFR reported.

Lufax and Ping An did not immediately respond to requests for comment by Reuters.

When asked by IFR, a spokesperson for Lufax declined to comment on whether the company had mandated banks for an IPO, and said there was “no schedule at this moment”. (Reporting by Fiona Lau of IFR, Writing by Kane Wu; Additional reporting by Julie Zhu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)