Home Financial News China backs insurer Ping An’s acquisition plan

China backs insurer Ping An’s acquisition plan

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Chinese regulators have approved a plan by Shenzhen-based powerhouse Ping An Insurance to buy a stake in Shenzhen Development Bank from US private equity firm TPG, Ping An said Wednesday.

Shenzhen Development Bank, also based in the booming city neighbouring Hong Kong, is one of the few local banks licensed to operate nationwide with more than 300 branches across China. Ping An agreed in June to buy up to 30 percent of Shenzhen Development Bank by buying a 16.76 percent stake from the lender’s biggest shareholder Newbridge Capital, the Asian arm of TPG, and through a separate private share placement.

On Wednesday Ping An said the China Securities Regulatory Commission had approved a plan to issue 299.09 million Hong Kong-listed shares in exchange for 520.4 million shares of Shenzhen Development Bank held by Newbridge. Ping An aims to build itself into a financial conglomerate with insurance, banking and asset management divisions.

Ping An, which previously held less than five percent of Shenzhen Bank, had to extend the deadline for the 3.2-billion-dollar proposal from the end of 2009 to April 30 as it awaited regulatory approval. The company has now also received a green light from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Commerce and the China Banking Regulatory Commission, it said in the statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Shanghai, May 5, 2010 (AFP)