ICBC said to buy into insurer

13:58, July 15, 2010      

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The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was reported to be buying into AXA-Minmetals Assurance as it makes its move to venture into the insurance sector as part of plans to diversify income channels.

The world's biggest bank by market value aims to acquire a controlling stake in French insurer AXA's Chinese life insurance joint venture, the Shanghai Securities News reported yesterday, without disclosing its sources.

ICBC plans to acquire a 70 percent stake in the Shanghai-based life insurer but AXA and China Minmetals Group, the current two shareholders of the insurer, will remain, the report said.

AXA now owns 51 percent of the life insurer while state-owned base metals trading company China Minmetals holds the remaining stake.

AXA-Minmetals declined to comment on the news report yesterday.

ICBC is seeking opportunities in China's insurance market because the restriction on banks holding non-banking financial services has been lifted recently.

Source: Shanghai Daily

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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