Carlyle selling China Pacific shares

LONDON – The Carlyle Group is selling about $1 billion in shares in China Pacific Insurance Group Co, the third such sale since December by the world’s second-biggest buyout firm.

Carlyle is offering 250 million Hong Kong-listed shares at HK$30.90 ($3.96) to HK$31.40 each, a discount of at least 1.7 percent to Tuesday’s close, according to terms of the deal, which were obtained by Bloomberg News.

Washington-based Carlyle led the group that agreed almost five years ago to take a 25 percent stake in China Pacific Life Insurance Co, a unit of Pacific Insurance, for 3.3 billion yuan ($510 million).

The investment was converted into a stake in the parent company in 2007, and then into China Pacific Insurance’s Hong Kong-listed shares in 2009 as the insurer sold stock in the city.

Dorothy Lee, a spokeswoman for Carlyle in Hong Kong, declined to comment on the share sale.

Investors’ reward

Carlyle sold 215.8 million of the Chinese insurer’s Hong Kong shares at HK$31.50 each on Dec 30 and 415.2 million shares in January at HK$33.45 apiece, fetching about HK$20.7 billion.

The sales enabled Carlyle to reward its investors with a sixfold profit, according to an estimate then by Ivan Cheung, head of regional insurance at Mirae Asset Securities (HK) Ltd.

Carlyle owned about 12 percent of the Hong Kong shares as of Jan 12, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state-owned investment company, raised $3.63 billion selling almost 10 percent of its stake in China Construction Bank Corp and about half of its shares in Bank of China Ltd on July 5.

That was hours after Moody’s Investors Service Inc said the credit outlook for Chinese lenders might sour, sparking a decline of more than 3 percent in the two lenders’ Hong Kong shares the next day.

The Shanghai-based insurer, China’s third-largest, said first-half life insurance premiums amounted to 54.6 billion yuan, with property insurance premiums at 32.2 billion yuan.

Source: Bloomberg News

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