Tencent, partners ready $218 million online Chinese insurer HeTai

November 22, 2016 11:22 PM EST

Dancers perform underneath the logo of Tencent at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing May 6, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese internet services giant Tencent Holdings Ltd and a group of seven investors have moved closer to launching a 1.5 billion yuan ($218 million) online life insurer in China, putting up funds and signing an agreement to form the venture.

One of the investors, Munsun Capital Group Ltd, said in a Hong Kong stock exchange filing on Wednesday it paid 210 million yuan for a 14 percent stake in HeTai Life Insurance Co, after signing HeTai's article of association with Tencent and other investors.

Tencent invested through its Beijing BIZCOM Technology Co Ltd unit, with other shareholders in HeTai including CITIC Guoan Co Ltd and Beijing Easyhome Investment Holding Group Co, according to the filing.

China's online finance industry has boomed in recent years, with players ranging from Tencent to e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and start-ups offering peer-to-peer lending, wealth management and online payments in a bid to prise business away from traditional banks and insurers.

Tencent is also among backers of Chinese internet insurer Zhong An Online Property and Casualty Insurance, looking to go public in Hong Kong in a $2 billion deal.

HeTai got the green light from Chinese regulators to start its business in July, and has up to one year to complete its "preparation of establishment", Munsun added in the filing.

(Reporting by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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