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HNA Group gets regulatory nod to sell stake in Chinese life insurance JV

HNA Group Co. Ltd. received regulatory approval for its plan to divest from its 50% stake in a troubled Chinese life insurance joint venture.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said Oct. 10 that conglomerate HNA Group will sell shares in Shin Kong- HNA Life Insurance Co. Ltd. to Shenzhen Qianhai Heungkong Financial Holdings Group and Shanghai Guanpu Real Estate.

Meanwhile, Taiwan-based Shin Kong Life Insurance Co. Ltd. will sell part of its stake in the venture to Shenzhen Bolin Asset Management Co. Ltd. and Shenzhen Guozhan Investment.

The regulator also approved Shin Kong Life, Shenzhen Qianhai Heungkong Financial, Shenzhen Bolin Asset Management, Shenzhen Guozhan Investment, Shanghai Guanpu Real Estate and Shenzhen developer Leanju to inject capital of 750 million yuan into the insurer, lifting its registered capital to 1.25 billion yuan from 500 million yuan.

Following completion of the transactions, Shin Kong Life will become the largest shareholder of the company, with a 25% stake, while HNA Group will no longer hold shares hold any shares in the Chinese insurer.

Shin Kong-HNA Life has reported negative solvency ratios since 2015, meaning the company does not have enough assets to cover its insurance contracts and debts. The company was asked by the regulator to stop underwriting new business since November 2015.

HNA Group still indirectly holds a 20% stake in Bohai Life Insurance Co. Ltd. and a 19.64% share in Sinosafe General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported Oct. 9 that HNA Group is also looking to sell more than 80 properties valued at a minimum of US$11 billion as part of attempts to reduce its debt.

As of Oct. 9, US$1 was equivalent to 6.92 Chinese yuan.