Anbang denies selling Waldorf Astoria Hotel and other overseas assets
Anbang Insurance Group denied reports that China has asked the firm to sell its overseas assets including the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. It said that it had "no plans to sell its overseas assets at the moment".
Chinese authorities have asked Anbang Insurance Group Co., the insurer whose chairman was detained in June, to sell its overseas assets, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources.
The government has also asked Anbang to bring the proceeds back to China after disposing of holdings abroad, said the people, who asked not to be identified because details are private. It is not clear yet how Anbang will respond, the people said.
“Anbang at present has no plans to sell its overseas assets,” the company said in a WeChat message. “Currently, Anbang’s various businesses and operations are all normal, and the company has ample cash and sufficient solvency capabilities.”
Anbang was among the most prominent of Chinese insurers that went on a buying binge across the globe, fueled by soaring sales of investment-type insurance policies, with its 2014 acquisition of New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel catapulting it into the public eye. Chairman Wu Xiaohui has been detained for questioning since mid-June, while the policies fueling its growth have been all but banned by regulators.
In October 2014, Anbang agreed to buy the landmark Waldorf Astoria in New York for USD 1.95 billion, a record for a single American hotel. Anbang bought real estate and financial services companies in Asia, Europe and North America, including the purchase of Strategic Hotels & Resorts as well as an office building in midtown Manhattan to house Anbang’s U.S. headquarters.
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