Dah Sing sale shows China’s insurance hunger

Mainland firms are looking to diversify offshore as the renminbi depreciates, with the goal of helping wealthy Chinese individuals buy financial products in Hong Kong.

Dah Sing Financial Group’s sale of its insurance arm to Chinese conglomerate Fujian Thai Hot Investment for HK$10.6 billion $1.4 billion after a fiercely contested auction illustrates just how keen mainland firms are for overseas assets.

Dah Sing said in a statement it would sell its Hong Kong and Macau insurance sales and underwriting business to Thai Hot for HK$8 billion. Thai Hot is paying an additional HK$2.6 billion in cash to Dah Sing Banking for a 15-year exclusive bancassurance tie-up.  

Thai Hot, a property-to-insurance group, is paying 2.9 times embedded value for the insurance operations, and just under seven times book....

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