China approves HSBC sale of remaining $7.5 bln Ping An stake

HONG KONG Fri Feb 1, 2013 5:25am EST

HONG KONG Feb 1 (Reuters) - China has approved the sale of HSBC's remaining $7.5 billion stake in Ping An Insurance to a group controlled by Thailand's richest man, giving the green light to the country's biggest inbound M&A deal.

Ping An announced the approval in a filing on the Shanghai stock exchange just hours before a deadline for a decision.

For HSBC Holdings Plc, the sale marks its exit from a decade-long interest in China's second-biggest insurer and books it a $2.6 billion post-tax gain from selling what it no longer considers a core asset.

Approval by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) had been in doubt after media reports last month raised questions over the Thai group's funding for the deal.