HSBC in talks to sell $9B stake in China's Ping An

AP News
Posted: Nov 19, 2012 4:00 AM

HONG KONG (AP) — HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, says it's in talks to sell its 15.6 percent stake in Chinese insurer Ping An.

The bank said in a brief statement Monday that it "confirms" the talks but did not name the other party. HSBC's stake in Ping An would be worth about $9.3 billion based on the current share price.

HSBC said that "from time to time" it has been approached about its stake in China's second biggest insurer. It said that the discussions "may or may not lead" to a sale.

The sale talks are part of a broader push by the bank to raise profitability. Its three-year restructuring plan also involves selling or closing underperforming businesses.

Ping An is based in the southern Chinese boomtown of Shenzhen, which neighbors Hong Kong.