BUSINESS

Chinese regulator approves HSBC's $9.4B sale of Ping An stake, following doubts about deal

02/01/2013 07:04 EST | Updated 04/03/2013 05:12 EDT
HONG KONG - HSBC says it has received approval from Chinese regulators for the sale of its $9.4 billion stake in Ping An Insurance to a Thai conglomerate.

The bank said Friday that the China Insurance Regulatory Commission gave it the go-ahead to transfer shares worth $7.4 billion to Charoen Pokphand Group before a midnight deadline. The bank said it had already transferred shares worth about $2 billion in December

News reports last month said the sale of the 15.6 per cent stake was in jeopardy because of questions over who was funding the purchase.

Ping An is based in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen near Hong Kong. It's China's second biggest insurer.

The sale is part of a broader push by Europe's biggest bank to improve its profitability and beef up its capital.