Anbang gets $9.7B bailout
Beijing took control of troubled insurer in February
Anbang Insurance Group is getting a $9.7 billion government bailout to prevent it from collapsing.
The China Insurance Regulatory Commission said Wednesday that the move is meant to protect policyholders. The money comes from the China Insurance Industry Fund, a bailout fund backed by the industry, Bloomberg reported.
In February, Beijing took control of the struggling insurer, which owns the Waldorf Astoria hotel, for at least a year. The company funded long-term investments, for example in real estate, by selling short-term, high-yield investment products, leading to fears over its stability. Founder Wu Xiaohui is currently on trial for fraud.
Meanwhile, the Waldorf Astoria’s condo conversion appears to continue. Anbang filed an offering plan for 352 units in March. The Waldorf will hold 350 hotel rooms and suites on the lower floors, according to plans filed with the city’s Department of Buildings. Those plans show condos will be located on floors 14 through 43. Floors 14 and 15 will have 28 units each. Higher floors will have fewer units: floors 40, 41 and 42 will have two units a piece.
Prosecutors in China last week said that Anbang’s former chairman Wu Xiaohui carried out a $10 billion fraud that threatened national security. Wu is expected to be found guilty and could spend the rest of his life in prison. [Bloomberg] — Konrad Putzier