Goldman buys more than $900 million stake in China's Taikang

HONG KONG Thu Apr 7, 2011 10:05pm EDT

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs (GS.N) has bought a 12.02 percent stake worth more than $900 million in China's Taikang Life Insurance Co Ltd, as the U.S. banking giant looks to benefit from growing demand for insurance products in the world's second-largest economy.

French insurer AXA SA (AXAF.PA) said last month it agreed to sell its 15.6 percent in Taikang to a group of investors for $1.2 billion. The company did not disclose who the other investors are.

Taikang has about $44 billion in assets and 54 million clients across China. The stake purchase was approved by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, the statement said.

(Reporting by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Chris Lewis and Michael Flaherty)