German insurer Allianz, Nippon Life and MS&AD Insurance are competing with rivals to buy the Singapore and Vietnam businesses of Britain's Aviva in an estimated $2.5bn deal.
Canada-based Sun Life Financial as well as Manulife Financial are also in the race. These firms are vying with half a dozen bidders competing for the businesses Reuters reported quoting sources familiar with the development.
Aviva confirmed earlier this year that it was examining options for a sale of the business as part of a new strategy designed to revitalise the company. The first round of formal bidding, which Aviva accepted last week, is expected to be finalised by the end of this year.
Last month, Reuters reported that Aviva is planning to divest its insurance operations in Asia to focus on profitable markets, pending on the outcome of a review of the Asian business. At the same time, it was reported that HSBC was in the early stages of weighing an offer for at least part of Aviva's Asian business, as part of a push for further business diversification in the region.
In Asia, Aviva has insurance operations in India, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam.