HNA exits joint venture to start own insurance business

Massive losses and regulatory sanctions prompt company’s exit from struggling joint venture

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

HNA Group, an investment, airline, and hotels conglomerate based in mainland China, has exited a floundering joint venture with Taiwan's Shin Kong Life Insurance. HNA is currently preparing to launch its own insurance arm.
HNA sold its 50% share in Shin Kong-HNA Life Insurance Co., a struggling insurer based in Taipei. Meanwhile, Shin Kong sold its 25% share, leaving only a 25% share in the joint venture. Financial terms were not disclosed.
In November 2015, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) prohibited Shin Kong-HNA from starting new businesses due to its weak finances. It reported losses of RMB82 million (US$11.9 million) last year, as well as RMB22.8 million (US$3.31 million) in losses for the third quarter of 2016.
It remains unclear how the new stakeholders, Shenzhen-based firms Po-lin Asset Management, Guanghui Petroleum Group, and Shenzhen Guozhan Investment Development, plan to move forward and confront the penalties.
According to sources, HNA has filed an application with the CIRC to establish a new insurer, and the conglomerate is planning to consolidate its insurance assets under a new firm’s umbrella. No timetable has yet been announced for the new firm’s launch.
HNA operates Hainan Airlines, the fourth-largest airline in China, as well as a hotel and resort chain. Last month, it acquired a 25% stake in US-based hotel company Hilton Worldwide Holdings for US$6.5 billion.

Related stories:
Cathay Life to ramp up overseas investments
AIG sells Taiwan business, founds new territory branch
Taiwan-based Shin Kong Life to add to its equities portfolio

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