Oversubscribed Asian Life IPO issue closes

KATHMANDU: Asian Life Insurance’s primary issue closed today after it was versubscribed more than tenfold.

“By the end of today we expect the collection to exceed Rs 1.65 billion,” said Ramesh Bhattarai, chief executive officer of Asian Life Insurance.

The Initial Public Offer (IPO) worth Rs 108 million of 10,80,000-units at a face value of Rs 100 per unit — was floated on October 27.

“After this public issue worth Rs 108 million, the paid-up capital of the company will be Rs 360 million,” he said adding there is Rs 252 million paid-up capital at present. At a time when the secondary market has been performing poorly, the encouraging response has shown that there is still an attraction for primary issue. “People may have found the IPO more lucrative as there has been no IPO for some time,” Bhattarai said.

Contrary to the banks and financial institutions, insurance companies declare bonus only once in three years. Of the total issue, 43,200-units are meant for the staff of the company. Contrary to other public issues, the company has allowed people to apply for minimum 10-units also.

The maximum limit for application was upto 20,000-units. After complaints about fake applications, Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) has made it mandatory to apply with photo and bank account number for the primary issue. The regulatory authority of the capital market permitted the company on September 16 to go public and the Company Registrar’s Office gave the go-ahead on October 8.

NIDC Capital Markets was the issue and sales manager of the insurance company that has — according to unaudited accounts — posted Rs 3.32 million profit in the fiscal year 2008-09. The company has projected Rs 15.29 million profit for this fiscal year. According to its prospectus, it is not going to give any dividend for another three years.

Asian will be the 18th listed insurance company in Nepse as there are already 17 listed insurance companies — under Nepse’s insurance companies sub-group — with a total of 20,703,504-unit shares at Rs 100 face value making a total total paid up worth Rs 2,070,350,400.