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Ping An to buy stake in Shenzhen Development Bank
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China Ping An Insurance (Group), the nation's second largest insurer, said late Friday that it planned to buy stake worth up to a combined 22 billion yuan (3.2 billion U.S. dollars) in Shenzhen Development Bank.

Ping An said in an online statement that it had agreed to purchase up to 585 million new shares from Shenzhen Development Bank for 10.7 billion yuan, or 18.26 yuan per share.

The company said it would also buy 520 million shares from the U.S.-based TPG's Asian arm Newbridge Capital for 11.45 billion yuan by the end of 2010. Newbridge Capital is currently the top shareholder in Shenzhen Development Bank.

The two deals would enable Ping An to acquire no more than a 30 percent stake in Shenzhen Development Bank, and become the top shareholder instead.

But the deals still need regulatory approval from the government.

Frank Newman, president of Shenzhen Development Bank, said the deals would enhance the bank's capital adequacy ratio, and is good to its long-term development.

Ma Mingzhe, president of Ping An, said the move is in accordance with the company's strategy to engage in more comprehensive financial services and achieve a balanced growth in insurance, banking and investment.

The Ping An Group, together with Ping An Life Insurance, currently holds a 4.68 percent stake in Shenzhen Development Bank.

(Xinhua News Agency June 12, 2009)

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