Tue, Aug 24, 2010 - Page 11 News List

State-run China Cinda in talks to buy stake in AIA

AFP , HONG KONG

China Cinda Asset Management (中國信達資產管理公司) is leading a Chinese consortium bidding for a stake in American International Group’s (AIG) Asian arm, AIA, a report said yesterday.

The state-run investment firm is in talks with the US insurance giant to buy into AIA, either before its initial public offering in Hong Kong in October or during the IPO process as a strategic investor, the South China Morning Post said, citing unnamed bankers with knowledge of the talks.

The report did not say which other firms were involved or how much of AIA they planned to buy, but it did say a major state-owned bank was believed to be involved.

Cinda’s press office said it was not aware of any new development on AIA, adding that the Post had not contacted Cinda before running the story.

Earlier this month, China’s 21st Century Business Herald, a Chinese-language newspaper, reported that a consortium formed by the nation’s largest life insurer, China Life Insurance Co (中國人壽), China Cinda, and the Fosun Group (復星集團), had temporarily dropped a bid for AIA on concerns that it could be priced too high.

At least four consortia made up of private Chinese investors have approached AIG about its Asian business, the Post reported.

AIA reportedly plans to list in Hong Kong in the fourth quarter of this year and hopes to raise as much as US$23 billion.

Sovereign wealth funds from Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar have also expressed an interest in AIA, according to the Financial Times.

Seeking to repay billions of dollars in bailout funds, AIG says it will “proceed as soon as practicable” with the listing of AIA.

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