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Nov 5, 2012

Prudential strikes 368 million pounds Thai insurance deal, turns up heat on AIA

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Prudential plc has agreed to buy the insurance unit of Thailand’s Thanachart Bank for 368 million pounds ($590 million) in cash, turning up the heat on rival AIA Group Ltd in the fast-growing Southeast Asian market.

The British insurer’s acquisition, which will double its market share in Thailand, is its first major attempt to buy an Asian company since Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam aborted a $35 billion bid in 2010 for AIA, the former Asian unit of American International Group Inc.

Nov 5, 2012

Pru strikes $590 mln Thai insurance deal, turns up heat on AIA

HONG KONG, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Prudential plc
has agreed to buy the insurance unit of Thailand’s Thanachart
Bank for 368 million pounds ($590 million) in cash, turning up
the heat on rival AIA Group Ltd in the fast-growing
Southeast Asian market.

The British insurer’s acquisition, which will double its
market share in Thailand, is its first major attempt to buy an
Asian company since Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam aborted a $35
billion bid in 2010 for AIA, the former Asian unit of American
International Group Inc.

Oct 22, 2012

Esprit taps shareholders for restructuring funds

HONG KONG, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Fashion retailer Esprit
Holdings Ltd is tapping shareholders for up to HK$5.25
billion ($677 million) to help finance a long-planned
multi-billion dollar restructuring.

Selling everything from bed sheets to jeans, Esprit has been
trying to restructure its retail business as sales slow,
especially in Europe where it generates three-quarters of its
sales.

Oct 19, 2012

Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li returns to insurance with $2.1 bln ING deal

HONG KONG, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Hong Kong businessman Richard
Li, the younger son of Asia’s richest man, is buying ING’s
Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand insurance units for $2.14
billion in cash, bringing the Dutch financial services company a
step closer to paying off its state bailout.

Li’s bid, through unlisted Pacific Century Group, marks his
return to an industry he exited in 2007 and would help expand
his business empire, which is now made up of telecoms, media and
funds management.

Oct 18, 2012

Richard Li nears $2 billion buy of ING units: sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong businessman Richard Li, son of Asia’s richest man Li Ka-shing, is nearing a deal to buy ING’s Hong Kong and Thailand business for over $2 billion, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

A deal could be announced as early as Friday, but could also be delayed to next week, the sources said. ING and Richard Li’s Pacific Century Group have entered final round of negotiations, they added.

Oct 18, 2012

Richard Li nears $2 bln buy of ING’s Hong Kong, Thai units-sources

HONG KONG, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Hong Kong businessman Richard
Li, son of Asia’s richest man Li Ka-shing, is nearing a deal to
buy ING’s Hong Kong and Thailand business for over $2 billion,
sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on
Thursday.

A deal could be announced as early as Friday, but could also
be delayed to next week, the sources said. ING and Richard Li’s
Pacific Century Group have entered final round of negotiations,
they added.

Oct 18, 2012

China Life warns on profits, shares slide

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China Life, (2628.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) the world’s largest insurer by market value, issued a profit warning that signalled its first quarterly loss since 2008 and sent its Hong Kong-listed shares down as much as 4 percent, as weak financial markets batter Chinese insurers’ investment income.

The warning from the state-controlled company, which said net profit in the first nine months of the year would fall about 55 percent, surprised analysts and could bode ill for other financial firms hurt by falling stock and bond markets. Slowing growth has also made it harder for insurers to raise premiums.

Oct 17, 2012

China Life warns on profits

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI, Oct 17 (Reuters) – China Life
, the world’s largest insurer by market
value, warned of a 55 percent fall in profits in the first nine
months – pointing to its first quarterly loss since 2008.

The warning from the state-controlled company surprised
analysts and could bode ill for other financial firms, suffering
from falling stock and bond markets that have hurt investment
income. Slowing growth has also made it harder for insurers to
raise premiums.

Oct 10, 2012

Battered Indian insurers need more than FDI

MUMBAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – India’s proposal to allow more foreign investment in its $41 billion insurance business provides a lifeline for an industry starved of capital and squeezed by regulation – but it may not pass parliament and it may not be enough.

India’s insurance business was full of promise when it was thrown open to competition in 2000, but has instead been brought to its knees by losses, regulatory change, uncertainty and a sharp slowdown in economic growth.

Oct 10, 2012

Analysis: Battered India insurers need more than foreign funds

MUMBAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – India’s proposal to allow more foreign investment in its $41 billion insurance business provides a lifeline for an industry starved of capital and squeezed by regulation – but it may not pass parliament and it may not be enough.

India’s insurance business was full of promise when it was thrown open to competition in 2000, but has instead been brought to its knees by losses, regulatory change, uncertainty and a sharp slowdown in economic growth.

    • About Clare

      "I am based in New York and write about IPOs and wealth management. I was formerly based in San Francisco, where I wrote about tech companies."
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