Daily Dispatches: Goldman and HSBC eye up China stakes

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The private equity unit of Goldman Sachs has emerged as a leading contender to acquire a minority stake in a Chinese life assurer being sold by Axa. People familiar with the situation said that Goldman's principal investment arm is in talks to acquire some, or all, of the 15.6 per cent stake in Taikang Life being sold by the French insurer. (Financial Times)

HSBC is understood to be looking to buy shares in either ICBC, Bank of China or China Construction Bank, although it will have to wait until China relaxes current laws limiting foreign banks' stake in local lenders to 20%. (China Economic Review)

The children of China's top government officials have long been known for their prowess in winning business for investment banks. These days, many of these children of privilege-called "princelings" on the mainland-are making their mark in private equity. (Wall Street Journal)

Retail punters in Singapore may have to sit for tests before they can trade that sexy ETF if the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has its way. MAS - in its protective cape - has proposed radical measures including getting independent assessors to verify customers' knowledge of the investment product they want to buy. (Asia One)