Ping An’s OneConnect Looks to Expand Its Clout Even Further

OneConnect, the financial technology arm of Chinese insurance giant Ping An, has already garnered a lot of attention in the sector. As part of China's largest insurer by market value, OneConnect has visibility--and it already counts Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank as one of its main backers. However, the technology solution provider from small to medium-sized financial institutions looks to be adjusting its strategy to gain even further dominance in the sector.

The privately-owned company had originally looked to launch an IPO in Hong Kong earlier this year. According to sources, those plans changed when Ping An decided to move the IPO to New York in hopes of achieving a higher valuation.

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The plans of an early September debut on the New York Stock Exchange recently changed again, with Ping An now targeting a mid-November IPO. The company believes that it can achieve a $8 billion valuation and raise as much as $1 billion in its public market debut. The Chinese insurance giant has tapped Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley to work on the IPO.

Still, nothing is set in stone yet, and some sources indicated the IPO plans may further change depending on how Ping An reads market conditions and investor sentiment. Ping An has been silent when asked to comment on its plans for OneConnect's public debut.

Among private investors, OneConnect has already performed remarkably well. Last year, it raised $750 million in its first funding round on a valuation of $7.5 billion.

Against the backdrop of this public offering hype, OneConnect continues to focus on expanding its technological solution offerings to small- and mid-sized financial companies and forging new partnerships. Recently the company announced a partnership with Indonesian insurer Asuransi Sinarmas; this joint venture will aim to translate Ping An's automated motor claims assessment tool to the growing Southeast Asian market. OneConnect has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Singapore Management University to conduct research and development into the potential of quantum computing in relation to blockchain technology.