While a deal that would see HSBC Holdings plc sell its 15.57% stake in
China’s Ping An Insurance Co. to a Thailand conglomerate appears to be
in trouble, industry analysts say Ping An would be little affected by
such a setback, according to a story in the new BestWeek
HSBC is looking to sell its stake in Ping An to Thailand’s Charoen
Pokphand Group for HK$72.4 billion (US$9.4 billion), but state-owned
China Development Bank is seen as likely to reject financing for the
deal as the bank is reported to be doubtful about the sources of some of
the funding. Doubts about the funding are raising concerns about the
China Insurance Regulatory Commission’s approval of the deal, which is
due Feb. 1. A.M. Best Asia-Pacific senior financial analyst Michael Wong
said “there should not be any major effect on the operations of Ping An
in the short term, except the negative impact to the share price
observed in the past week.” Wong also discusses other aspects of the
deal and what it means.
Also featured in BestWeek Asia-Pacific, a surprising lesson
emerged from the rubble of the Canterbury earthquakes for New Zealand’s
life insurance industry — insurers discovered that only 60% of
Canterbury earthquake victims had life insurance, according to Financial
Services Council, a life and financial services trade body. The finding
suggests a significant coverage gap in the country’s life market.
The Jan. 15 edition is available at www.bestweek.com/asia
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