Ping An-backed lending platform Lufax raises $1.2 bln from investors

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese online lending platform Lufax, backed by Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd, has raised $1.2 billion from a group of investors ahead of a planned dual listing in the second half of the year.

The capital raising values Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange Co Ltd [IPO-SLJZ.HK], as the company is formally called, at $18.5 billion, it said in a statement.

Lufax raised $924 million from new investors in a so-called B round of financing, as well as an additional $292 million from investors who had bought stakes in the company in an initial funding round.

The fundraising will lay the foundation for the exchange’s future development, Lufax said in the statement.

The B round of financing was several times oversubscribed. Domestic and overseas institutions participated, including the investment arm of COFCO Group and Guotai Junan (Hong Kong), it added.

Lufax said its IPO could take place in the second half of 2016 and that it is considering a dual listing on a domestic and overseas exchange.

The IPO could be worth as much as $5 billion, according to IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication.

Lufax serves as a trading platform for a wide variety of financial products between institutional and individual investors, including wealth management products and peer-to-peer loans.

Reporting by David Lin, Pete Sweeney and Samuel Shen; Writing by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Edwina Gibbs