HSBC sells Chinese insurer for $9.4bn

HSBC bank today announced that it has sold its stake in a Chinese insurer for $9.4bn (£5.8bn).

The bank's 15.6 per cent share in Ping An Insurance has been bought by CP group, a firm controlled by Dhanin Chearavanont, Thailand's richest man.

HSBC spent $1.7bn to build the 15.6 percent stake in China's second-largest insurer between 2002 and 2005, leaving the bank with a substantial profit.

The investment is a change of direction for CP Group, which has previously concentrated on agriculture.