US private equity group TPG reached an agreement to sell its 17% stake in Shenzhen Development Bank (SDB) to Ping An Insurance for US$1.68 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. Ping An will subscribe to up to US$1.6 billion worth of new shares issued by SDB in a private placement and will then buy TPG’s stake. TPG has the option to receive payment in cash or through a share swap. The deal reportedly faces opposition in Beijing because it was not first cleared with regulatory bodies and because of a possible perception that the Chinese government had sold state assets too cheaply. A share-swap deal, in which TPG would take a 3.9% stake in Ping An, is thought likely to be more palatable to authorities. Sources said officials would prefer that TPG retain a significant stake in China’s financial sector.