(Yicai Global) Jan. 28 -- China's Ping An Insurance Group cannot get enough of shares issued by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, one of the biggest Chinese state-owned banks, which pays high cash dividends.
Ping An Insurance Group purchased 20 million stocks, or HKD116 million (USD14.8 million) worth of ICBC's shares trading on the Hong Kong capital market on Jan. 22, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing revealed in a published document. The equity was priced at HKD5.8 (74 US cents).
The Shenzhen-based insurer and its unit have increased their holdings of ICBC's equity multiple times since last July, spending HKD3.3 billion (USD421 million) in total in six months.
"Ping An Insurance focused on adjusting its odd lots and buying mainstay stocks of key industries such as ICBC's Hong Kong-traded shares in the past two to three years," Chinese media reported, citing Chen Dexian, the chief investment officer, speaking at a press conference last August. In its strategy, Ping An emphasized target firms' valuation and dividends instead of particular industries, as well as long-term investments, he added.
With the sum of CNY800 billion (USD118.6 billion) and the dividend yield consistently above 30 percent, the cash dividends of ICBC's equity traded on China's mainland, also called as A-shares, have topped the ranks for 11 years since floating new shares for the first time both in Hong Kong and in Shanghai in 2006.
Beijing-headquartered ICBC [HKG: 1398] traded at HKD6.02 (77 US cents), 0.84 percent up, at 10.22 a.m.
Editor: Emmi Laine