February 26, 2018 / 1:48 AM / 21 days ago

Sino-Ocean Group says Anbang not planning to cut stake after government takeover

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Sino-Ocean Group Holding Ltd (3377.HK) said on Sunday Anbang Insurance Group Co Ltd had no plans to trim its stake in the company, and that the Chinese government’s takeover of the insurer would not impact its business.

A man walks past the office of Anbang Insurance Group in Beijing, China, February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

The Chinese government on Friday seized control of Anbang and said its chairman had been prosecuted, illustrating Beijing’s willingness to curtail big-spending conglomerates as it cracks down on financial risk.

Anbang had violated laws and regulations which “may seriously endanger the solvency of the company”, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) said in a statement announcing the seizure, without giving details.

Sino-Ocean Group said it had received a written notice from Anbang saying the insurance group had no plans to alter its stake in the property firm.

“Currently, our company and its subordinate entities are in stable operation, with sufficient cash reserves, and there are no recent plans to reduce the shareholding in your company,” Sino-Ocean Group cited the Anbang notice as saying.

    Sino-Ocean Group also said the company did not expect the CIRC’s control of Anbang to have any adverse impact on its operations and business.

    Anbang held 29.97 percent of Sino-Ocean Group as at June 30, 2017, the second-largest shareholder following China Life (601628.SS) which owned a 29.98 percent stake according to Sino-Ocean Group’s website.

    Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by James Pomfret and Stephen Coates

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