Great Eastern and Generali in the race for AXA-Affin insurer

Pedro Gonçalves
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Great Eastern and Generali in the race for AXA-Affin insurer

Singapore's Great Eastern, majority-owned by Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., and Italian insurance giant Generali are considering bids for the life and general insurance businesses of the Axa and Affin joint venture in Malaysia, Bloomberg reported. 

Great Eastern, which is majority-owned by Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and Italy's Generali are working with their respective advisers on potential offers. The first round of bidding is expected to conclude in a couple of weeks.

Affin and AXA's collaboration in Malaysia comprises AXA Affin General Insurance Bhd and AXA Affin Life Insurance Bhd.

According to the wire, AXA and Affin are looking for options on the ventures, which could fetch a combined $650m or $500m for the general insurance arm and up to $150m for the loss-making life insurance unit.

AXA Affin Life, set up in 2006, is 51% owned by Affin and 49% owned by Axa. It earned gross premiums of RM463.4 million in 2018, with losses of RM8.1 million.

AXA Affin General Insurance is dubbed as one of the top medical and health insurers in Malaysia, with 5,000 agents nationwide. Affin Bank also boasts the third largest asset management arm in Malaysia under its wholly-owned unit Affin Hwang Asset Management Bhd, which has over RM56 billion worth of assets under management as at end last year.

The first round of bidding is expected to conclude by end-March, although deliberations are ongoing and the companies may decide not to proceed with an offer.

This article was first published by International Investment

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