China’s Anbang to sell Hexie Health Insurance stake as government speeds up asset sales

Signage for Anbang Insurance Group Co. is displayed atop the entrance to Anbang Financial Center in Beijing, China, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Photographer: Giulia Marchi/Bloomberg

China’s Anbang Insurance Group said it will sell its entire stake in a health insurance unit as Beijing speeds up asset disposals at the troubled government-controlled insurance conglomerate.

Anbang said it would sell 77.7% of its stake in Hexie Health Insurance through its property and casualty insurance subsidiary, and the remaining portion to five companies including Fujia Group, a private commerce company.

Fujia Group will take a 51% controlling stake after the deal, the statement said.

Anbang did not reveal the size of the deal, which requires approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).

The move comes as regulators seek to speed up the process of selling Anbang’s assets to minimize financial risks. Anbang was one of the most aggressive Chinese buyers of foreign assets a few years ago, using leveraged loans and risky short-term financing tools.

More than 1 trillion yuan ($145.4 billion) worth of Anbang assets had been or were in the process of being disposed, CBIRC Vice Chairman Liang Tao told reporters on Thursday.

The regulator also would cut the portion of Anbang’s risky short-term insurance products to under 15% of its total insurance products by 2019, Liang said.

The Chinese government took control of Anbang in February last year, part of a sweeping campaign to reduce financial risk. The company’s former chairman, Wu Xiaohui, was later sentenced to 18 years in prison for fraud and embezzlement.

“For the next step, the takeover team will steadily introduce strategic investors to Anbang and push forward its restructuring,” Liang said, without elaboration.

China has formed a new company called Dajia Insurance Group to take over the assets of Anbang, according to sources familiar with the matter and a government document. The new group was led by He Xiaofeng, the head of Anbang’s takeover team.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
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