CBA exits China insurer with $503m Mitsui deal

CBA exits China insurer with $503m Mitsui deal

Wed, 23/05/2018 - 08:29

The deal is the latest in a series of moves by Australian banks to reduce their capital requirements. Photo: Maksym Kozlenko

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is selling its 37.5 percent stake in a Chinese life insurer to Japan's Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co for 3.2 billion yuan ($660 million), in a bid to simplify its portfolio and focus on its core banking business.

CBA said on Wednesday it will record an after-tax gain of about $450 million on the sale of the stake in BoComm Life Insurance, which it jointly owns with China's Bank of Communications Co Ltd.

Mitsui Sumitomo is a unit of Japan's MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc.

CBA said the completion of the sale will satisfy a condition to the sale of its life insurance businesses in Australia and New Zealand to Hong Kong's AIA Group announced in September last year.

The deal follows a similar trend among major Australian banks to trim their capital requirements, with peer Australia and New Zealand Banking Group exiting a Cambodian joint venture earlier this month.

CBA, Australia's largest bank by market value, also said it is contributing about 1.13 billion yuan to a capital raising by BoComm Life Insurance, which would be conducted before the transaction completed.

The bank said it expects its common equity tier 1 ratio to increase by 13 basis points following the conclusion of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory clearance in China.