Date
26 September 2017
Alibaba plans to buy New China Life shares from state investment arm Central Huijin Investment Ltd., which owns 31.34 percent of the insurer. Photo: Blomberg
Alibaba plans to buy New China Life shares from state investment arm Central Huijin Investment Ltd., which owns 31.34 percent of the insurer. Photo: Blomberg

Alibaba eyes New China Life stake

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the world’s biggest e-commerce company, is planning to buy a stake in state-run New China Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

Central Huijin Investment Ltd., the investment arm of the Chinese government and the largest shareholder in the insurer, plans to sell some of its stake to Alibaba, Reuters reported Thursday, citing Shanghai Securities News.

It did not give any details on the size of the deal.

Central Huijin owns 31.34 percent of the insurer, according to the paper.

New China Life Insurance asked for a trading suspension on Jan. 19, saying it was in the midst of negotiations that would affect its shareholding structure.

An Alibaba spokeswoman declined to comment on what she called market speculation.

A spokesman for New China Life Insurance said: “currently, there is nothing we can tell you.”

Alibaba is already invested in China’s insurance market.

The founders of Alibaba and Tencent Holdings Ltd. were among a consortium of investors who acquired stakes in Ping An Insurance Group Co. of China Ltd. in a HK$36.5 billion (US$4.7 billion) deal in December.

New China Life Insurance has a market capitalisation of US$24 billion and provides life insurance services and products.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

CG/RA

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