China Insurance Brief: Israel Opposes Sale of Insurance Firms to Chinese Investors

A senior government official disclosed the opposition of Israel’s Finance Ministry on the sale of insurance companies to Chinese investors due to their hesitation of putting pension money in their hands.

This could be bad luck for Fujian Yango Group Co’s bid to buy the country’s Phoenix Holdings Ltd. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ministry policy, told Bloomberg that the government is more inclined to approve Chinese investments in industrial assets.

Since Chinese investors have been the primary bidders for Israeli financial assets, it may be hard for Israeli holding companies such as Phoenix’s parent company, Delek Group Ltd, to sell their financial assets.

Earlier, the Fujian Yango agreed to buy Phoenix for 1.95 billion shekels ($730 million). Representatives from the Chinese company weren’t immediately available for comment while Delek spokesman Itay Gore has declined to make any comment.

The government official said one alternative for investors is that Delek may have to dispose of their stakes on the bourse. –