Ping An Insurance has asked for government support in getting compensation for losses incurred on its investment in Fortis, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation. As Fortis struggled with its subprime losses, the Belgian government in October bought 51% of Fortis’s banking assets it didn’t already own and then sold a 75% stake to BNP Paribas. The Belgian government set up a special fund to share some of the profit from the sale with Fortis shareholders who are European residents. Ping An, China’s second-largest life insurer, claims it is also entitled to a slice of the profit. Ping An bought a 4.2% stake in Fortis in late 2007 for US$2.7 billion, and then raised its holding to 4.81% earlier this year. The company said in October it would report a loss of US$2.3 billion on its total original investment of US$3.4 billion.
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