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Asset-buying plan lifts insurer
Aggregated Source: Shanghai Daily: Business

SHARES of China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co, the first overseas-listed Chinese insurer, jumped the most in more than three-and-a-half years after saying it would buy 10.6 billion yuan (US$1.7 billion) of assets from its parent.

The shares soared nearly 15 percent in Hong Kong yesterday to HK$14.20 (US$1.8) after trading was suspended for two working days. It was the biggest climb since October 2009.

In a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday evening, China Taiping said it will issue 862.7 million shares at HK$15.39 each, 8.3 percent higher than the latest closing price, to pay for unlisted assets from parent China Taiping Insurance Group Co.

The deal will enable Taiping Insurance Holding to acquire 25.05 percent equity interest in Taiping Life Insurance Company, 38.79 percent in Taiping General Insurance Company, and other assets of the parent.

The deal is set complete by December 31, 2014, according to the filing.

Taiping Insurance Group said the asset exchange is part of the group's restructuring plan to get listed as a whole. It will also boost cooperation between different units of the group.

Deutsche Bank AG analyst Esther Chwei wrote in a report that restructuring will help the insurer consolidate its business in China and tap growth potential. She added the transaction will impact little on the interests of minor shareholders.

In March Taiping Insurance Holding reported that profit last year soared 71 percent from 2011 to HK$937 million.

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Copyright Shanghai Daily: Business