Standard Life seals Bank of China deal

INSURER Standard Life is in the final stages of selling a majority stake of its Chinese joint venture Heng An Standard Life to Bank of China.<br /><br />The group announced yesterday thatChinese regulators are set to approve the transaction, which would leave Standard Life with a smaller stake in an enlarged business.<br /><br />If approved, the deal would boost Heng An&rsquo;s distribution reach and turn the arm &ndash; currently a 50-50 venture between Standard Life and Teda International, a Chinese state investment agency &ndash; into a domestic player.<br /><br />Chairman of the group Gerry Grimstone is currently with business secretary Lord Mandelson on a five-day trip to China. The group wants to become one of the top five foreign insurance players in China by 2013.