HSBC sells Ping’an stakes to CP Group

The Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) has bought HSBC’s shares in Ping’an Insurance Co., replacing the latter as the insurer’s largest stock holder.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission on Friday gave the go ahead for CP Group to buy all of HSBC’s stakes in Ping’an, or 15.57 percent of stock in the country’s second-largest insurer.

The deal worth 72.74 billion HK dollars (9.39 billion U.S. dollars) is expected to be completed on Feb. 6, according to the Shanghai Securities News.

The stocks of Ping’an closed higher on Friday after the news, with its A-shares up 5.29 percent and H-shares up 1.87 percent.

HSBC said in a statement on Dec. 5 that HSBC Insurance Holdings and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, two indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of HSBC Holdings plc, would sell their entire shareholdings in Ping’an Insurance Co. to CP Group at 59 HK dollars per share.

HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said in the statement that HSBC would put more focus on its core business.

Led by board chairman Dhanin Chearavanont, CP Group is a multinational conglomerate with major business in agriculture.

HSBC began to hold stakes in Ping’an in 2002 and has increased its shares several times since then.