Swiss Re has held discussions with Chinese authorities about an investment in embattled insurer Anbang Insurance Group, reports Bloomberg citing people with knowledge of the matter.
Swiss Re is among parties that have been approached as China seeks to find new capital for the insurer, according to the people. The Zurich-based global reinsurer hasn’t made a decision on whether to proceed with a investment, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
As part of the talks, Chinese officials have also been gauging Swiss Re’s interest in acquiring some overseas assets from Anbang, the people said. Anbang’s foreign holdings include Antwerp-based insurer Fidea, Dutch insurer Vivat and Belgian lender Nagelmackers. It also owns a controlling stake in South Korea’s Tongyang Life Insurance.
Since China temporarily seized the acquisitive insurer in February this year and sentenced its chairman to prison, officials have been seeking strategic investors both at home and abroad to take stakes in Anbang.
Singapore’s state investment firm Temasek Holdings has held talks with Chinese authorities about acquiring a stake in Anbang as well as some of its assets, Bloomberg reported this month. Shanghai-based China Insurance Investment, a body that’s owned by some of China’s biggest insurance firms, is also considering an investment.
Temasek isn’t currently in any active negotiations about an Anbang transaction, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.
The Chinese government has indicated that fresh investors will eventually replace an industry security fund that injected CNY60bn ($9bn) into Anbang in April.
Wu Xiaohui, stripped of his position as Anbang chairman, was sentenced in May to jail after he was convicted of fund-raising fraud and embezzlement.