March 12, 2020 / 8:04 AM / 17 days ago

China's Anbang sells Chengdu bank stake valued at over $2 bln to local gov't-backed firm

BEIJING, March 12 (Reuters) - China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co Ltd, fresh from two years of government-led restructuring, has sold a 35% stake in Chengdu Rural Commercial Bank Co Ltd once valued at over $2 billion in its latest divestiture.

The sale, revealed in a statement dated Wednesday on the bank’s website, comes amid government efforts to tame financial and credit risk among smaller lenders and private conglomerates.

The stake was bought by Chengdu Xingcheng Investment Group, a local government-backed investment vehicle in Sichuan province, the statement showed.

The bank did not specify the value of the deal, but Anbang previously put the stake up for sale at 16.5 billion yuan ($2.36 billion), an earlier exchange filing showed.

Anbang also aimed to auction 2.05 billion worth of shares in the bank held by 10 other companies totalling 8.7 billion yuan by March 11, showed a separate filing.

The government seized control of Anbang in February 2018 under a broader campaign to curb risk after an asset-buying spree by a handful of private-sector conglomerates.

Last month, the banking and insurance regulator said it had ended its management of Anbang, and that Dajia Insurance Group Co Ltd - a newly formed company taking over Anbang’s assets - was close to securing strategic investors.

($1 = 6.9789 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Cheng Leng and Ryan Woo; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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