Regulator approves Anbang’s takeover of Allianz Korea

South Korea's financial authorities on Wednesday approved a plan by China's Anbang Insurance Group to acquire the local operation of Germany's Allianz.

In April, Anbang signed a deal to buy Allianz Life Insurance Korea for US$3 million.

All individuals or entities seeking to become controlling shareholders of South Korean financial services firms are subject to a qualifications screening by the regulatory authorities here.

With the decision by the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the related M and A procedures have been completed. The Chinese insurer has become the No. 5 holder of South Korea's market share.

Anbang, based in Beijing and known for its aggressive global acquisition drive, earlier bought a controlling stake in Tongyang Life Insurance Co., a major South Korean insurer, for $1 billion.

Meanwhile, the FSC passed a set of eased restrictions on the insurance industry to take effect on Thursday. Local insurance firms will be allowed to invest in more foreign assets.

Currently, they can invest only in foreign securities with credit ratings issued by major global agencies such as Standard and Poor's. Under the revised regulations, they will be able to invest in assets evaluated as suitable for investment by any agency designated by the regulatory authorities of a relevant foreign nation.

The FSC also lowered the limit on insurance companies' trade in financial derivative products.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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