Bloomberg News

China Life Looking at Overseas Banks, Chairman Says

March 03, 2009

China Life Insurance Co. (2628) is studying overseas acquisition targets, including banks, after deciding not to bid for the Asian unit of American International Group Inc. (AIG:US), Chairman Yang Chao said today in Beijing.

Buying assets in other countries in the current global financial climate is “risky” although it also brings opportunities, he told reporters at the annual meeting of the Chinese legislature’s advisory body.

Chinese companies and banks have spent an estimated $100 billion buying up assets in, or making loans to, countries from Russia to Venezuela this year, taking advantage of foreign rivals’ need to raise money. Aluminum Corp. of China last month led a spending spree of as much as $25 billion in Australian commodity producers.

“Opportunities and challenges co-exist,” Yang said today. “As long as the opportunities become ripe, we will go.”

China Life, the nation’s largest insurance company, last week said it decided not to bid for AIG’s Asian unit.

“Their business, asset quality, management team and reputation changed considerably” since the two companies first talked, Yang said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Feiwen Rong in Beijing at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at

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Companies Mentioned

  • AIG
    (American International Group Inc)
    • $56.33 USD
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