China Pacific Insurance (2601.HK) announced it is selling its 50% stake in an insurance joint venture with Dutch financial company ING Groep NV (ING.NYSE, INGA.Euronext) for US$142 million, reflecting a broader effort by Chinese insurers to eliminate internal competition, the Wall Street Journal reported. China Life Insurance Group (LFC.NYSE) also recently sold its 51% stake in a Shanghai-based insurance venture with Commonwealth Bank of Australia to the Bank of Communications (601328.SH, 3328.HK). China Pacific, the country’s third-largest life insurer by premiums, said it aims to sell the stake in Pacific Antai Life Insurance to a consortium of at least four companies, led by a commercial bank with net assets of not less than US$30 billion. Chinese insurers will not be able to bid as the government is pushing to reduce competition among local insurers. Foreign companies may bid for no more than a 20% stake.
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