SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — Chinese money is entering the Korean insurance market for the first time in its history. Anbang Insurance Group finalized a 1.13 trillion won (US$ 1.01 billion) takeover of Korea’s Tongyang Life on February 16, according to reports from the Korean finance industry.
The Chinese company agreed to take a combined 63 percent stake in Tongyang Life for 1.13 trillion won from Vogo Investment Group (Vogo Fund) and two other shareholders. Vogo Fund is an independent Korea-dedicated buyout fund, which was the largest shareholder of Tongyang Life. The company had been trying to sell its stake in Tongyang Life since 2011.
Tongyang Life has excelled on the Korean market recently. Its net profit for 2014 hit a record-high 164.4 billion won (US$ 148.2 million), while sales increased to 4.2 trillion won (US$ 3.7 billion). The company is worth a combined total of 20.4 trillion won (US$ 18.3 billion), which is an increase of 13.1 percent from 2013. Its cash dividend payment of 200 won (US$ 0.18) per share in 2013 also increased to 550 won (US$ 0.49) in 2014.
Anbang Insurance Group also purchased New York’s iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel from Hilton Worldwide for US$ 1.95 billion last year, and just sealed the acquisition of Dutch insurer Vivat for US$ 1.6 billion.
By J.W. Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)