HONG KONG – Chinese state-owned financial and insurance group China Taiping Insurance said in a securities filing that it plans to raise HKD13.48bn (USD1.74bn) in a private share sale.

The proceeds, it said, will be used to expand its insurance business and grow into new areas.

The insurer plans to sell 486 million shares at HKD27.74 apiece, a 5 percent discount to Wednesday’s closing price.

Reuters reported that the share sale will be made through a top-up placement, with China Taiping’s main shareholder selling existing and shares and subscribing to the same number of new shares at the same price.

China Taiping joins a list of insurers, brokerages and financial services firms to raise new funds through equity offerings, making 2015 the most active year for the financial service sector, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, one of the world’s largest electronic market making firms, Virtu Financial, announced plans to expand in China as the country’s equities market continues to grow.

Virtu Financial Chief Executive Officer Doug Cifu confirmed the plan, adding that Temasek Holdings, which holds a 36 percent stake in the company, has opened the door for Virtu in China.

Virtu, however, faces one obstacle in China because the government does not allow buying and selling stocks in the same day.

Last year, Virtu completed 5.3 million trades a day, trading on more than 25 exchanges in 34 countries. Cifu said the company has begun very significant discussion in China. – BusinessNewsAsia.com