Friday, February 1, 2013

Congratulations to this visionary business taipan of Thailand, Dhanin Chearavanont (Chinese name in simplified characters: 谢国民)!

He is one of the most talented and gutsiest entrepreneurs in the world whom I admire very much.

I had seen Dhanin Chearavanont made an eloquent speech and answer questions at an open forum in fluent Mandarin at the last 2011 World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention held in Singapore, and he had brilliant as well as wise ideas!

(This Forbes magazine cover image sourced from

(Image below sourced from

HSBC Sells $7.4 Billion Ping An Stake to Thai Billionaire Dhanin

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA)’s $7.4 billion sale of its stake in Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. (2318) to Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont was cleared by regulators, ending six weeks of speculation over the deal’s fate.

Dhanin’s Charoen Pokphand Group Co. and HSBC said payment was made in cash after the China Insurance Regulatory Commission approved the sale of 976.1 million Hong Kong-traded shares in the nation’s second-largest insurer. The transfer will take place by Wednesday, HSBC said in its statement.

China Approves HSBC’s Sale of Ping An Stake to Thai Billionaire

China Approves HSBC’s Sale of Ping An Stake to Thai Billionaire

China Approves HSBC’s Sale of Ping An Stake to Thai Billionaire
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
Pedestrians walk past a Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. advertisement in Beijing.

The transaction will generate a $2.6 billion profit for London-based HSBC, bolstering Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver’s efforts to revive earnings. CP Group said on Jan. 11 it had the resources to complete the purchase, damping concern the deal would collapse after Caixin Online reported that China Development Bank Corp. withdrew financing.

“Given all the twists and turns, this outcome is quite a surprise and the best for all,” said Li Wenbing, a Beijing- based analyst at Bocom International Holdings. “With a relatively passive investor like CP, Ping An’s management can maintain their control on the firm’s operation and leverage some of CP’s expertise in tapping the rural financial sector.”

Shares in Ping An have gained 23 percent in Hong Kong trading since Dec. 4, the day before the sale was announced. That’s 20 percent more than the HK$59-a-share that CP Group agreed to pay.

HSBC, which has gained almost 12 percent in the same time- frame, fell 0.3 percent to close at HK$88 on Feb. 1. The stock has advanced about 13 percent in London since Dec. 4.

Chinese Funding

HSBC agreed on Dec. 5 to sell its 15.6 percent holding in Ping An to four subsidiaries of CP Group in two phases for about $9.4 billion. The first stage, comprising shares valued at about HK$15 billion ($1.93 billion), was completed Dec. 7. The rest required approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission by the end of today.

The acquisition of four-fifths of the shares would be funded with cash as well as a financing agreement from the Hong Kong unit of China Development Bank, HSBC had said in December.

CP Group didn’t use that credit facility from China Development Bank, which is a policy lender based in Beijing, to finance any part of the purchase, said a person with knowledge of the transaction. The person, who asked not to be identified, didn’t say how CP Group raised funds for the deal. Today’s statements made no mention of how the deal was funded.

Seed Business

Dhanin, 73, planned to make a foray into financial services after spending more than four decades building a family seed business into Thailand’s biggest agricultural company and conglomerate. His net worth was an estimated $6.6 billion as of today, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Almost 60 percent of the fortune is from overseas private companies.

The group’s historical ties to China include becoming the first foreign investor after Deng Xiaoping opened the economy in 1979, and continued management of local agricultural projects. CP said it could help develop rural areas in China through its investment in Ping An.

“This is good news as it removes the uncertainty,” Olive Xia, a Shanghai-based analyst at Core Pacific-Yamaichi International Ltd. who recommends investors buy the shares, said by phone. “We still prefer Ping An among Chinese insurers and the stock has some upside.”

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