China's Anbang Seizure Is Good News for This Lagging Bank

China Regulators to Take Control of Anbang Insurance

Things are looking up for an unloved Chinese lender after the government’s seizure of its biggest shareholder Anbang Insurance Group Co.

China Minsheng Banking Corp. shares missed out on a rally in Hong Kong last year as mounting problems at Anbang -- not least the detention of its founder -- increased the risk of a fire sale of assets. With the government now holding Anbang’s 8 percent stake in Minsheng’s Shanghai shares, such fears have faded, says Geo Securities Ltd.’s Francis Lun.

Minsheng jumped 3.7 percent to be among the top performers in Hong Kong on Friday. The stock slid almost 6 percent in 2017, compared with a 25 percent gain by the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index.

“Anbang was really short of cash,” said Lun, Hong Kong-based chief executive officer of Geo Securities. “If the government is taking over then they would not be in a hurry to sell” the Minsheng stake.

— With assistance by Amanda Wang, and Philip Glamann

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