Advisers to Prudential PLC are currently working to buy as much as 10% of the British insurer's shares in order to transfer them to the Hong Kong stock exchange and "jump start" the company's listing there, according to a report Sunday.
The nearly 1.5 billion pound ($2.3 billion) acquisition of Prudential shares could take place in the next few weeks and is linked to the insurer's proposed $35.5 billion purchase of Asian insurance major AIA, the Sunday Times reported, without citing a source for the information.
The transferred shares will be sold to Asian investors, with trading in Prudential stock expected to debut in Hong Kong by the end of the month. The transferred shares will be used to ensure liquidity in Prudential stocks before the British company launches a rights issue to partly finance its acquisition of AIA, the Times reported.
The share swap would be the largest move of its kind since HSBC Holdings PLC transferred its primary listing from Hong Kong to London in 1992, the report said.
Prudential currently has a market capitalization of 14.81 billion pounds. The company's shares have lost about 8.7% in 2010 to date, weighed by the announcement of the AIA acquisition.
Prudential, meanwhile, aims to get an approval for its Hong Kong listing this week, Reuters reported separately Friday, citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter. The listing is expected to take place soon after the approval is received, it said.