HSBC exit: Ping An shares plunge
HSBC has been exiting non-core businesses since Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver laid out his plans in May 2011 to boost profitability. Europe's biggest bank has since sold or wound down various businesses including its non-life insurance operations.
HSBC owns 15.6 percent of Ping An Insurance (Group) Co of China Ltd, having bought its stake before the insurer went public in 2004. The bank's stake is worth about HK$71.8 billion ($9.3 billion), Thomson Reuters data shows.
Possible buyers include Thai tycoon Dhanin Chearavanont, who owns the unlisted CP group, according to the Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Journal, which reported on the possible stake sale.
As of 0228 GMT, Ping An shares were down 3 percent to HK$57.80, their lowest level since Sept. 27. By comparison, the benchmark Hang Seng Index was up 0.46 percent. HSBC is Ping An's largest shareholder and alone accounts for about 39 percent of the insurer's total Hong Kong-listed shares, or about 1.23 billion shares, according to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
HSBC said it had no comments, while a Ping An spokesman said the company had not received word of any sale. CP could not be reached for comment.
Earlier this year, HSBC sold its general insurance business to French insurer AXA and Australia's QBE Insurance Group Ltd and is close to
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