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HSBC to Buy Stake in S.Korea Hana's Insurer

HSBC Holdings is to buy a 49.9 percent stake in the life insurance unit of South Korea's No. 4 banking group, Hana Financial, an online media firm said on Tuesday.

"The stake sale proposal passed a board meeting on Oct. 19 when third-quarter results were reported," EDaily quoted an unnamed official of Hana Financial as saying.

The report added that a preliminary agreement between HSBC and Hana Financial would be signed on Nov. 12. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Hana executives declined to comment, while a source close to the group told Reuters he was aware that the potential deal had been reported at the October board meeting.

The UK-based bank had studied the books of unlisted Hana Life Insurance as the sole bidder, a Hana spokesman had said in October.

After any deal, Hana Financial would own a majority of 50 percent plus one share in the life insurance firm.

Hana Financial had bought the other half of the insurance firm from Germany's Allianz for an undisclosed sum in May, ending the joint venture status of the unit.