News Life and Health 27 Feb 2018

China:Anbang says it supports govt takeover

27 Feb 2018

Anbang Insurance Group said yesterday that it fully supported the Chinese insurance regulator's decision to temporarily take control of the company, and remains committed to the development of its overseas subsidiaries, reported Reuters.

These were the first comments by Anbang on the Chinese government's move last Friday to take control of the company.

"We fully support CIRC’s decision," a company spokesman said, referring to the insurance regulator which announced the one-year takeover that could be extended for another year.

"We will continue to be committed to our overseas subsidiaries' business and investment, and will provide the necessary support to their healthy development," the Anbang spokesman said.

The Chinese government's action on Anbang, along with the announcement that its chairman was being prosecuted for economic crimes, dramatically illustrated Beijing's willingness to curtail big-spending conglomerates as it cracks down on financial risk.

Anbang, which claims CNY1.97 trillion (US$311 billion) in assets and ranks 139 on the Global Fortune 500 list, had spent billions of dollars on overseas acquisitions in recent years, including US$1.95 billion in 2015 for New York's landmark Waldorf Astoria hotel. The once-aggressively acquisitive company later agreed to pay US$6.5 billion for Strategic Hotels and Resorts.

In South Korea, Anbang acquired Tongyang Life Insurance in 2015, and later completed its acquisition of Allianz Korea. In Europe, Anbang Life acquired Vivat, the Dutch insurer in 2015, after buying Fidea insurance in Belgium a year earlier. The company also has acquired Retirement Concepts, the largest retirement home chain in British Columbia, Canada.

Anbang also has significant stakes in a number of major Chinese companies. Last Friday, some of the companies said they had received notices from Anbang assuring them that there would not be immediate stake sales. Among them were China Minsheng Banking Corp , China Merchants Bank, developers China Vanke and Gemdale Corp .


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