China Minsheng Bank Investors Form Alliance to Boost Influence

  • Orient Group, Huaxia Life hold combined stake of 5.48%
  • Anbang remains Minsheng’s largest investor with 18% holding

Two shareholders of China Minsheng Banking Corp., the nation’s first privately-owned lender, have agreed to act together in exercising their voting rights in a bid to enhance their influence over the bank.

Orient Group Inc. and Huaxia Life Insurance Co., which own a combined 5.48 percent of Minsheng, will act in concert on shareholder approvals and when “dealing with affairs related to the operation and development” of the lender, the Beijing-based bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

The alliance makes the companies the second-largest stakeholder in Minsheng after Anbang Insurance Group Inc., according to Huatai Securities Co. analyst Luo Yi. Anbang, which has made headlines recently with aggressive overseas bids including one for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., built up its stake through a series of stock purchases since 2014. It owned 17.8 percent of the bank, Minsheng’s annual report shows.

Greater influence of another investor “will establish a more balanced mechanism among shareholders and improve the bank’s corporate governance,” Luo, who’s based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, wrote in a note on Thursday.

Shares of Minsheng Bank gained 0.5 percent as of 10:05 a.m. in Hong Kong on Thursday. Through Wednesday, the stock had lost 3.1 percent this year, compared with an average loss of 7.8 percent for all Hong Kong-listed mainland banks.

— With assistance by Jun Luo

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