September 9, 2015 / 8:09 AM / 3 years ago

Manulife nears $400 mln deal to buy StanChart's HK pension business-sources

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Canadian insurer Manulife Financial Corp is nearing a deal to buy British bank Standard Chartered’s Hong Kong pension business for about $400 million, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Toronto-based Manulife has been stepping up its Asian presence in quest of faster growth. Asia accounted for more than half of Manulife’s insurance sales in the first quarter of 2015.

For Standard Chartered, the sale would mark a further retreat from Hong Kong, after it exited the consumer finance unit last year. Standard Chartered managed about HK$20 billion ($2.6 billion) under Hong Kong’s mandatory provident fund (MPF) scheme.

Standard Chartered and Manulife declined to comment. The sources declined to be identified as the information is not public. ($1 = 7.7500 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Denny Thomas and Saeed Azhar; Additional reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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