Chinese regulators have selected China International Capital Corp (CICC) and UBS to advise on potential disposals of assets owned by troubled Anbang Insurance Group, according to reports.
Citing people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg said on 28 May that government regulators have asked CICC and UBS to help with preparations for divestments by Anbang, adding that work is still at the planning stages and no formal auction process has begun.
In a statement on 28 March, the government team that took over Anbang said that the company has no plans to dispose of its overseas assets and its operations are stable. Third parties are offering consultancy services, the statement said, and some media reports have read too much into the matter.
Anbang, which shot to fame after snapping up assets around the world, was temporarily seized by the government in February amid President Xi Jinping’s campaign to curb risks in the financial system. The insurer’s former chairman, Wu Xiaohui, was sentenced earlier this month to 18 years in prison after being convicted of fundraising fraud and embezzlement.
The firm, which has received a bailout loan of $10bn, said earlier this month that an interim working group has been meeting investment banks as it reviews all of the company’s overseas assets.
The Chinese government has also said it is seeking strategic investors for Anbang and aims to introduce private capital into the insurer as soon as possible.