Controlling shareholder PCRD may make decision this week Two foreign firms are bidding for the controlling stake of Richard Li Tzar-kai's insurance flagship Pacific Century Insurance Holdings amid the industry consolidation in Hong Kong, market sources said yesterday. 'Two bidders are going after the assets of [Pacific Century],' a source said. Pacific Century Regional Developments, which owns 47 per of the insurer, was considering both offers and might make a decision by the end of this week, the source said. China Insurance Group, the parent firm of China Insurance International Holdings, is Pacific Century's second-largest shareholder with an 11.9 per cent stake, but sources said neither bid was made by a mainland-backed firm. Pacific Century, which failed in its bid to expand in the mainland last year by taking a stake in SinoLife Insurance, has been widely expected to be a takeover target as foreign firms continued to expand over the past two years. AXA Asia Pacific Holdings agreed to buy Winterthur Life (Hong Kong) for up to HK$2.4 billion in December last year after it completed the HK$3.3 billion buyout of MLC's Hong Kong and Indonesian units in June. Sun Life Financial, Canada's largest life insurer, took over CMG Asia and its sister company CommServe Financial for HK$3.5 billion in July 2005. Shares of Pacific Century jumped 11.8 per cent to HK$5.78 in the morning session yesterday before trading in the stock was suspended. The stock has gained 81 per cent over the past year. Shares of Singapore-listed PCRD were also suspended after falling 1.45 per cent to 34 Singapore cents (HK$1.73) in the morning. Both companies cited 'price-sensitive information' as the reason for suspension. 'The transactions may not happen but one of the offers looks attractive to the owners,' the source said.