Goldman Sachs (GS.NYSE) has bought a 12.02% stake in China’s Taikang Life Insurance, Dow Jones reported. The US financial services firm plans to cooperate with Taikang on investment management, product development and domestic and overseas investments. The deal, which has been approved by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, arose from French insurer AXA’s (CS.Euronext) desire to divest its 15.6% holding in the Chinese firm. It received approval last month to sell to a group of investors for US$1.2 billion, but did not disclose the identity of those investors. AXA’s exit was driven by restrictions on foreign investors holding interests in more than one Chinese life insurance company. Beijing-based Taikang is the country’s fifth-largest life insurer, with gross premiums of US$13.22 billion in 2010.