AIA, Prudential import bids for SCB’s word unit

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG — AIA Group and Britain’s Prudential Plc are among insurers deliberation bids to buy during slightest 49% of a US$3 billion word section of lender Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), people with approach believe of a matter said.

A successful interest sale in SCB Life Assurance Plc would make it one of Southeast Asia’s biggest word exchange ever. The understanding would also concede a new partner to discharge word products by a bend network of SCB, Thailand’s third-biggest lender.

While a sale routine is usually approaching to flog off in a third entertain of 2016, a insurers have started rough discussions with intensity advisers for impending bids, a people told Reuters. The list of meddlesome insurers also includes Swiss Ace Group and Canada’s Manulife Financial Corp , they said.

Southeast Asia is a bridgehead for unfamiliar insurers, who are captivated by a region’s reduce word invasion levels and faster expansion rates of life word premiums compared to levels in a grown world.

And bank placement deals, termed bancassurance, are rising as a renouned means to sell word products in Asia, complementing a some-more ordinarily used group channel route.

AIA, Aviva, Prudential and Canadian insurers Manulife and Sun Life Financial Inc have bitterly fought each time a bancassurance understanding has come to a marketplace in Asia in new years.

SCB, with a 1,200 domestic outlets, offers one of a final suggestive bank placement deals accessible in Southeast Asia. The lender is seeking a partner for a word section to accelerate expansion in a business.

Growth potential

Thailand, with a race 65.7 million, trails Southeast Asian markets such as Singapore and Malaysia in word penetration.

Total life word reward income in a nation is foresee to grow by 9% to 585.7 billion baht in 2016 after rising by 6.7% last year, a Thai Life Assurance Association has said.

Insurers “see expansion intensity in Thailand – large race and elementary products during a moment,” one of a people said.

SCB is operative with Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse on a sale process, a people said.

The people declined to be identified since sum of a sale routine and names of intensity buyers are not public.

Spokespeople for Manulife, Prudential, AIA, Ace, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse declined to comment.

SCB did not respond to several Reuters requests for comments. In a past it has declined to criticism on a process.

SCB Life is ranked fifth in a life word market, that AIA leads. Other vital players are France’s AXA , that has a understanding with Krung Thai Bank, Prudential, that has tied adult with Thanachart Bank, and Bangkok Life.

Southeast Asia’s biggest word understanding so distant is AIA’s $1.73 billion squeeze of Dutch lender ING’s Malaysian word business in 2012.

Thailand caps unfamiliar companies’ stakes in domestic word ventures during 49%, though might assent aloft land on a case-by-case basis.

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