Insurer Zurich has made close to $1bn from the sale of its stake in Chinese insurer New China Life (NCI).
The sale, which will take place on 25 November, will see Zurich exit its entire 292.5 million share holding in NCI, representing 9.4% of the total issued share capital of NCI.
Zurich has agreed on a price of approximately $3.23 per share, which will be sold in the form of a block listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, delivering gross proceeds for the insurer of approximately $943.3m.
Swiss Re will acquire 52.3% of the shares as part of an anchor investment agreement, while the remaining shares will be snapped up by investors
procured by international investment banks.
Zurich received Chinese regulatory approval in May to run as a wholly-owned subsidiary through which it intends to expand in the market, it said.
The insurer said the sale reflected its desire to "manage its financial exposure to a large single holding of shares". It would reinvest the proceeds of the sale into other investments in Asia to benefit from a diversification of its equity portfolio.
Zurich chairman for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa Geoff Riddell said: "Our relationship with NCI has been a positive experience for both parties. Zurich is very optimistic about the China insurance market and we remain committed to further developing our presence in China and evaluating potential opportunities as they arise."
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