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World Bank lowers projection

World Bank

Washington – The World Bank on Tuesday lowered its projection for the global economic outlook this year, as developing countries are heading for disappointing growth, while high-income countries are gaining momentum. [Read more…]

Asia’s Reluctant Partners

Huawei

China’s telecoms equipment giant Huawei this month announced it is increasing the share of Japanese parts in its smartphones from 50 to 70 per cent to boost its competitiveness against Samsung and Apple. [Read more…]

Opportunities in Indonesia

Opportunities for Global Investors in Indonesia

IDX - Indonesia Stock Exchange

When Asian governments want to give extra stimulus to their economies, they often opt for massive spending on infrastructure – roads, railways, ports, air terminals, bridges, power plants, hospitals. That generates immediate demand for labour and locally-produced materials. Unlike the welfare handouts preferred in the West, it’s a long-term investment in greater economic output. [Read more…]

Small Cap Company Award 2012

Dorsett Hospitality International

Dorsett Hospitality International

Dorsett Hospitality International has been accorded the coveted Best Small Cap Company award by Asiamoney under the Best Managed Company Awards-Hong Kong.

Each year Asiamoney awards the standout companies and executive in each major regional country for strong management.  The judging panel of the Award was made up of global professional investors, financial analysts, brokers and other investment communities. [Read more…]

ING Insurance Units In Hong Kong

ING To Sell Insurance Units In Hong Kong

ING sells to Pacific Century Group

ING sells to Pacific Century Group

– Units sold in combined transaction to Pacific Century Group
– ING to receive total cash consideration of USD 2.14 billion (EUR 1.64 billion)
– Transaction expected to deliver net gain of approximately EUR 1 billion
– Process to sell remaining Asian Insurance/Investment Management units on-going

ING announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its life insurance, general insurance, pension and financial planning units in Hong Kong and Macau, and its life insurance operation in Thailand to Pacific Century Group (PCG) for a combined consideration of USD 2.14 billion (EUR 1.64 billion) in cash.

The agreement is part of the previously announced intended divestment of ING’s Asian insurance and investment management activities. In this context, ING announced last week it reached an agreement to sell its Malaysian insurance activities for approximately EUR 1.3 billion. The process for the remaining businesses is on-going. Further announcements will be made if and when appropriate.

“We are pleased to have found in Pacific Century Group a good home for our customers, employees and agents with the ambition to continue to expand the businesses in these countries,”  said Jan Hommen, CEO of ING Group. “This transaction underscores the steady progress we continue to make in our restructuring.”

The agreement values ING’s Hong Kong, Macau and Thai combined life insurance businesses at 24.3x estimated 2012 earnings and 1.9x estimated 2012 book value of EUR 865 million, both on an IFRS basis. Earnings until closing are to the benefit of PCG. At closing, ING expects the transaction to deliver a net gain of approximately EUR 1 billion.

ING is a top 10 life insurer in Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand. In Hong Kong and Macau, where ING offers general and life insurance products as well as pension and financial planning services, ING serves more than 270,000 customers through approximately 400 employees and 1,600 tied agents. In Thailand, where ING offers life insurance as well as pension products, ING serves more than 300,000 customers through about 480 employees and over 4,000 tied agents.

PCG is a private firm founded in 1993 by Richard Li. Over the years, PCG has built interests in financial services, real estate, satellite communications, media and telecommunication services in Asia. Richard Li is the Chairman of HKT, the largest telecom operator in Hong Kong, and the major shareholder of PineBridge Investments, a U.S.-based asset manager with USD 68 billion under management globally.

ING Investment Management’s funds management businesses in Hong Kong and Thailand are outside the scope of this transaction. The transaction announced today does not impact ING’s Asian banking activities.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.