Tue, May 03, 2011 - Page 12 News List

AIG Taiwan unit’s employees call for quick sale approval

Staff Writer, with CNA

Employees of US insurance giant American International Group Inc’s (AIG) Taiwan unit will launch a petition on Thursday to urge the Financial Supervisory Commission to quickly approve a proposed sale of the local unit.

More than 10,000 employees of Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) will also take to the streets to voice their appeal, the company said yesterday.

Nan Shan blamed the lack of a speedy approval for the departure of 2,000 employees in just four months.

The company said its workforce had decreased from 33,000 at the end of last year to 31,000 as of the end of last month.

If the sale remains stalled, it will harm Nan Shan’s financial situation, said Han Yi-hua (韓逸驊), an accounting assistant manager at the insurance firm.

In January, AIG agreed to sell its 97.57 percent stake in Nan Shan to Ruen Chen Investment Holding Co (潤成投資), a consortium led by Taiwan-based conglomerate Ruentex Group (潤泰集團), for NT$62.5 billion (US$2.16 billion), pending approval by the commission. The consortium is 80 percent owned by Ruentex and 20 percent owned by Pou Chen Corp (寶成工業), a footwear manufacturer.

The January sale came after the commission rejected a previous sale application by AIG in August last year, citing concerns over the long-term commitment of the would-be buyer — a Hong Kong consortium — to run Nan Shan and the bidder’s long-term financial capability.

However, the commission said yesterday that it was under no obligation to finish reviewing the sale by any particular deadline. It also declined to reveal the progress it has made in reviewing the case.

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