HSBC Gets Green Light for US$7.4bn Ping An Sale

HSBC has gained regulatory approval to complete the sale of its shares in Chinese financial firm Ping An Insurance.

The UK bank announced last December that it had come to an agreement to sell its 15.57% stake in Ping An to indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group), with an instalment of around one-fifth of these shares being transferred immediately.

HSBC and CP Group then agreed that the remaining stocks would be handed over when the deal has been ratified by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) and, in an official statement, the lender has revealed this approval has now been granted. The confirmation came shortly after reports that China Development Bank (CDB) was reconsidering whether to provide the finance promised to CP Group, temporarily putting the outcome of the deal in doubt.

The second tranche of shares, which are worth more than US$7.4bn, will now be paid for in cash and HSBC expects the transfer to be completed on 6 February. Reports have noted that HSBC could potentially have gained much more from the deal as the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets have risen sharply since it was first announced on 5 December.

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