(Bloomberg) -- BNP Paribas SA agreed to buy Fosun International Ltd.’s 9% stake in insurer Ageas for about €730 million ($777 million), tightening the French lender’s relationship with its partner in a Belgian business. 

BNP Paribas’ insurance unit will buy a 4.8% stake in Ageas in the coming days, with the rest of the acquisition to be done after regulatory approvals are received, the bank said in a statement Sunday. Bloomberg News reported last month that BNP Paribas was considering the deal.

BNP Paribas and Brussels-based Ageas already have a joint venture, AG Insurance, that sells life, auto and other forms of coverage in Belgium. The bank’s Belgian unit distributes Ageas products in the country.

“Ageas is pleased to see that BNP Paribas recognizes, through this investment, the value of its partnership for the long term and the potential of the company going forward,” Ageas said in a separate statement.

The deal will have “a marginal impact” of about 2 basis points on BNP Paribas’s CET1 ratio, a key measure of financial strength, the bank said.

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Ageas shares have risen 8.1% this year, valuing the company at almost €8 billion. 

Bloomberg News reported in February that Fosun was working with advisers on a possible sale of the stake. The Chinese conglomerate, which is backed by billionaire Guo Guangchang, has been selling assets as it seeks to reduce its debt load following an acquisition spree. 

(Updates to add Ageas statement in fourth paragraph.)

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