China has approved the sale of HSBC's remaining $7.5 billion stake in Ping An Insurance <2318.HK> to a group controlled by Thailand's richest man, giving the green light to the country's biggest inbound M&A deal.
Ping An announced the approval in a filing on the Shanghai stock exchange just hours before a deadline for a decision.
For HSBC Holdings Plc <0005.HK>, the sale marks its exit from a decade-long interest in China's second-biggest insurer and books it a $2.6 billion post-tax gain from selling what it no longer considers a core asset.
Approval by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) had been in doubt after media reports last month raised questions over the Thai group's funding for the deal.
(Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)