OCBC mgt could also try MetLife of the US. Metlife is buying AIA’s sister company, Alico, from AIA for a reported US$15.5 billion.
Alico has Asian insurance operations in Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Yes thaz all. Buying GE Life can add S’pore, M’sia, Brunei, Indonesia and China (the last two admittedly smallish, but still better than Nepal or Pakistan. Both are almost failed states.)
And Zurich Financial Services Group which together with Axa and Allianz according to Reuters are the European insurers looking for a bigger slice of Asia’s high-growth markets considering unsolicited bids for ING’s Asian businesses
Reuters reports further that, “Analysts say the AIG sale supports the valuation of ING’s businesses and that ING will be able to exit insurance at book value of around 16 billion euros or more before the end of 2013, by when it must sell the business … UBS research analysts put proceeds of a divestment of the Asian business at 5.6 billion euros [US$7.6 billion]… ‘ING’s Asian business is not the likes of AIA, but it is good. I thought we could see some unsolicited bids even before the Prudential deal was announced,’ said a second investment banker who asked not to be named.
“ING, splitting off its global insurance operations as part of a restructuring deal mandated by the European Union, has made clear since late October that it preferred an IPO rather than a trade sale for the insurance unit … made no secret of the intense trade interest in the business, with chief executive Jan Hommen famously saying he had to use ‘hands and feet’ to count all the suitors who had called him.”
I doubt Axa would be interested in GE Life or ING Asia as it is in the midst of trying to privatise Axa Pacific which is listed in Oz Land. The latest bid by NBA is worth US$12 billion. NBA will keep the Oz operations, and sell to Axa the Asian operations.