×

UPDATE 1-Genworth and Oceanwide working to address U.S. security issues

(Adds background on Ant/MoneyGram collapse)

WASHINGTON, Jan 3 (Reuters) - China's Oceanwide Holdings Co Ltd and insurer Genworth Financial Inc are working to amend a proposed deal in hopes of winning approval from a U.S. national security panel, Genworth said on Wednesday.

The statement comes a day after Ant Financial said it had scrapped plans to buy MoneyGram International Inc because the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) rejected it on concerns over the safety of data that can be used to identify U.S. citizens. CFIUS assesses deals to ensure they do not harm national security.

Genworth's shares closed down 5.6 percent at $3.05 on Wednesday after earlier hitting a more than 52-week low of $3.01.

Genworth, which in late November extended its deadline to complete the deal to April 1, said it had been working to allay CFIUS's concerns with fixes to the deal that would be "more robust than previous CFIUS filings," Genworth spokeswoman Julie Westermann said in an email statement.

"Genworth and China Oceanwide have been working with a leading U.S. third party data administrator to implement an additional mitigation approach that further protects our US customers' personal private data," Westermann said.

Oceanwide agreed in October 2016 to pay $2.7 billion in cash, or $5.43 per share, to acquire Genworth.

While CFIUS has not killed all deals involving Chinese buyers - at least a handful were approved in 2017 - the panel has been increasingly skeptical of Chinese transactions, according to CFIUS lawyers.

"The range of transactions with Chinese companies that are considered problematic by CFIUS ... has broadened considerably in the last two years," said one CFIUS expert who spoke privately to protect business relationships. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Susan Thomas and Leslie Adler)