An­bang hunts for new deals while di­gest­ing old ones

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By BLOOMBERG and CHI­NADAILY

An­bang In­sur­ance Group Co will fo­cus on in­te­grat­ing its over­seas pur­chases such as South Korea’s Tongyang Life In­sur­ance Co as it con­tin­ues to seek ac­qui­si­tions, ViceChair­man Yao Dafeng said in an in­ter­viewon Tues­day.

The ac­qui­si­tions will mostly cover in­sur­ers and banks, Yao said.

“We want to build up the ex­ist­ing syn­er­gies a bit first, and con­sider new deals when ap­pro­pri­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties emerge,” Yao said. “You can’t just­keep buy­ing ev­ery­day. You need to also digest and ab­sorb.”

An­bang, founded in 2004, has been at the fore­front of a record wave of over­seas ac­qui­si­tions by Chi­nese com­pa­nies as the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy cools. The in­surer, which has amassed as­sets across theUS, Euro­pe­andAsia, is­now­preparinganini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing in Hong Kong of its life in­sur­ance op­er­a­tions.

The pro­posed IPO is part of ef­forts by An­bang to bet­ter in­te­grate it­self into the global com­mu­nity as an “open and trans­par­ent” player, said Yao.

An­bang folded four of the com­pa­niesit ac­quired into the life unit last year. They in­clude Tongyang Life, Dutch in­surer Vi­vat, Bel­gium lender Nagel­mack­ers and in­surer Fidea NV, ac­cord­ing to the unit’s 2015 an­nual report. Net in­come at the con­sol­i­dated di­vi­sion more than dou­bled from the pre­vi­ous year to 19.6 bil­lion yuan ($2.9 bil­lion), while as­sets surged more than sev­en­fold to 921.6 bil­lion yuan, ac­cord­ing to the report.

“Those con­sol­i­dated num­bers are just the tech­ni­cal as­pect, and a very small part” of ben­e­fits such ac­qui­si­tions have brought An­bang, Yao said. “From the strate­gic and mar­ket com­pe­ti­tion point of view, our global de­ploy­ment is tak­ing shape.”

Some of the ac­quired com­pa­nies are al­ready ben­e­fit­ing as An­bang has started started in­te­grat­ing them. Tongyang Life posted its best re­sults since its es­tab­lish­ment in 1989 in the first half of this year, with pre­mi­ums in­come jump­ing 91 per­cent mainly thanks to a new pen­sion in­sur­ance prod­uct de­signed with An­bang’s help, Yao said.

Vi­vat re­ported a ten­fold profit jump for the same pe­riod, af­ter man­age­ment strate­gies “ex­ported” from An­bang helped re­duce costs and im­prove ef­fi­ciency, he added.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

An em­ployee helps a guest with his bags at the Wal­dorf As­to­ria, An­bang’s New York ho­tel.

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