Chinese Insurance Company Behind Wave of Multi-Billion Dollar Deals

Questions Arise About Who Owns the Insurance Company Anbang

The Chinese insurance company Anbang was founded in 2004.  In recent years, it has purchased a number of high-profile hotels in the United States.  This includes the Waldorf Astoria in October 2014 for $1.95 billion, 717 Fifth Avenue in February 2015 for an estimated $500 million and Strategic Hotels & Resorts for $6.5 billion.  American regulators are now questioning who the shareholders of Anbang are, and whether they are holding their stakes on behalf of others.

Anbang’s shopping spree is part of an outflow of money from China that has reshaped global markets but has often been shrouded in secrecy, sometimes by prominent Chinese looking to shift their wealth abroad without attracting attention at home. That poses a problem for international regulators trying to identify the buyers behind major acquisitions and to assess the riskiness of these deals

The Anbang shareholders in the Pingyang County area hold their stakes through a byzantine collection of holding companies. But according to dozens of interviews and a review of thousands of pages of Anbang filings by The New York Times, many of them have something in common: They are family members and acquaintances of Wu Xiaohui, Anbang’s chairman, a native of the county who married into the family of Deng Xiaoping, China’s paramount leader in the 1980s and ’90s.

You can read more about this story on the New York Times website.