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HSBC likely to dispose of interest in China’s Ping An Insurance

UK-based HSBC Holdings PLC is likely to dispose of its 15.6% interest in China’s Ping An Insurance.

Undisclosed sources were cited by a Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Journal as saying that Thai businessman Dhanin Chearavanont owned Charoen Pokphand Group is one among preferred buyers.

The journal had floated the report after HSBC confirmed the same in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and did not disclose further details regarding the potential stake sale.

Prior to the Shenzhen-based insurer’s listing in Hong Kong, HSBC purchased a 10.1% interest in Ping An for $600m and doubled its stake in 2005 after agreeing to pay $1.1bn for an additional 9.9% of the company’s share capital.

The total stake was reduced to 15.6% when the bank rejected to a rights issue subscription in 2010, as reported by Reuters.

Ping An offers a variety of products which include fire, marine cargo and accident insurance, as well as a home protection plan.