Ping An Healthcare opens up 4.6 percent in Hong Kong debut

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Ping An Healthcare and Technology Co Ltd 1833.HK shares opened up 4.6 percent on their market debut in Hong Kong on Friday, as investors jostled for a piece of the fast-growing business.

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The company, that operates China’s largest online healthcare platform, raised $1.12 billion after pricing its IPO at HK$54.80 a share in what is Hong Kong’s largest new listing this year.

Shares in the company opened at HK$57.30 ($7.30).

Founded in 2014, the company also known as Ping An Good Doctor was among several tech start-ups backed by Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd 2318.HK601318.SS.

It delivers healthcare services such as online family doctors and health mall services through its mobile platform and has seen its revenue surge nearly seven times to 1.9 billion yuan ($299.59 million) over the past three years.

It has a nationwide network of healthcare service providers covering 3,100 hospitals, 1,100 health check-up centers, 500 dental clinics and 7,500 pharmacy outlets.

“We are at the stage to acquire more traffic and change consumers’ habit of seeing doctors and managing their health,” Ping An Healthcare Chairman Wang Tao said at the listing ceremony.

The company’s home doctor and consumer medical segments are expected to further grow, Wang said, adding that he believed that in the future the company would eventually make a profit.

The Shanghai-based company has posted net losses for the past three consecutive years, as high cost of sales offset a stellar revenue growth.

Ping An Healthcare’s debut comes at a time when Hong Kong is implementing new rules to attract more tech and biotech IPOs to the city, away from other major centers like New York and the Chinese mainland.

Hong Kong is set to see a slew of blockbuster tech IPOs over the coming months, including smartphone and smart device maker Xiaomi and on-demand online services provider Meituan-Dianping.

The listing of Good Doctor could pave the way for floats of other Ping An units, such as Lufax, China’s biggest online wealth management platform, and Ping An Healthcare Management, a medical data collection and analysis business.

The Good Doctor has secured seven cornerstone investors including Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC [GIC.UL], Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and U.S. asset manager BlackRock, it said in a filing last week.

It added that proceeds from the IPO would be used to fund acquisitions and strategic alliances as well as for research.

($1 = 7.8490 Hong Kong dollars)

($1 = 6.3420 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Julie Zhu; additional reporting by Donny Kwok and Kane Wu; Editing by Himani Sarkar