The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) will not approve HSBC’s (HBC.NYSE, 0005.HKG, HSBA.LON) bid to sell its 15.6% holding in China’s Ping An Insurance (2318.HKG, 601318.SH) to a Thai conglomerate, South China Morning Post reported, citing unnamed sources. CIRC is expected to reject the US$9.4 billion bid over suspicions that Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group would have difficulty funding the purchase, the sources said Tuesday. China Development Bank, one of the deal’s financiers, was reported yesterday to be reconsidering the transaction, which could leave Charoen without adequate funds. The CIRC is also concerned about the identity of the ultimate holder of the stake, who is believed to be Xiao Jianhua, a secretive, well connected Chinese businessman. The deadline for CIRC approval is February 1. Ping An’s Hong Kong-listed shares fell 4% to HK$68.15 at the close of trading Tuesday.
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