June 18, 2017 / 5:38 AM / 2 years ago

Minsheng chairman says loans to China's Anbang total only $100 mln -Caixin

BEIJING, June 18 (Reuters) - China Minsheng Banking’s loans to Anbang Insurance Group amount to $100 million, and not 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) as rumoured, bank chairman Hong Qi told shareholders, adding that the loans are secure, local media Caixin reported.

The respected business magazine is among the first to reveal the size of loans made by mid-sized bank Minsheng to Anbang.

Minsheng spokesman Li Liming told Reuters the account of the shareholders’ meeting was correct.

Anbang, one of China’s most aggressive buyers of overseas assets, said last week that Chairman Wu Xiaohui was temporarily unable to fulfil his duties due to personal reasons. People familiar with the matter said Wu had been detained by authorities earlier in June.

Anbang has said Wu’s duties would be managed by other senior executives, and that its business was operating normally. No other details have been provided by the insurer.

Anbang Group is one of Minsheng Banking’s largest private shareholders.

“It is precisely because Anbang is a major shareholder that our controls are stricter and we strictly disclose related party transactions,” Hong is reported to have said.

Hong also said Minsheng will continue to sell Anbang’s insurance products, according to the Caixin report.

Employees at several Chinese banks told Reuters last week that they had stopped selling some Anbang products, in some cases several months ago.

Banks are the main distribution channel for Anbang’s insurance products.

Minsheng has its own legal challenges, with the head of one of its branches and some staff under investigation in connection with missing funds worth 1.65 billion yuan.

$1 = 6.8097 Chinese yuan Reporting by Dominique Patton and Sun Qizi; Editing by Tom Hogue

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