Second largest mainland insurer People’s Insurance Company (Group) of China (PICC, 1339.HKG) attracted greater-than-expected investor interest in its initial public offering, as its share price rose 6.9% in its first day of trading in Hong Kong on Friday, Financial Times reported. The float is Hong Kong’s largest offering in two years and raised US$3.1 billion. The deal was strongly supported by cornerstone investors, who bought half the shares in advance, which were priced at the lower end of the selling range a week before trading began. US firm AIG (AIG.NYSE), Chinese state-owned companies and insurers were part of the group that arranged to buy US$500 million of shares. PICC also attracted demand from retail investors, causing bookrunners to retrieve some of the stock put aside for institutions for ordinary investors in order to meet Hong Kong regulations, according to bankers familiar with the transaction.