Data from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) showed on Tuesday that Ant Group has reduced its stake in ZhongAn Insurance by 46,537,063 shares, dropping its shareholding ratio from 13.54% to 10.37%. Tencent and Ping An Insurance, the other two major shareholders of ZhongAn, have unchanged ratios of 10.2054%.
Ant Group responded on Wednesday that the reduction is a normal investment decision. Although the shares held by ZhongAn have been decreased, the strategic partnership between the two parties will remain unchanged, and Ant Group is optimistic about the long-term development of ZhongAn as always. ZhongAn also stated that this reduction is a normal investment decision of shareholders, and its business development is normal.
ZhongAn Insurance was officially listed on the Main Board of the HKEx on September 28, 2017. In the past year, the stock price ZhongAn has shown an obvious downward trend. In January 2021, its share price reached a high of HK$66 ($8.47) apiece, then tumbled. As of January 20, 2022, the share price was only HK$27.8, a drop of more than 50% within one year.
Recently, leading companies in the internet industry have taken the initiative to shrink their field of investment, focusing more on their main business.
In April last year, Ant Group reduced its stake in an Indian food delivery company Zomato. In addition, Tencent also frequently reduced its holdings of invested companies. At the end of December 2021, Tencent reduced its shareholdings in JD.com from 17% to 2.3%. Only about 10 days later, Tencent once again reduced its stake in Sea, the largest internet company in Southeast Asia, decreasing from 21.3% to 18.7%.