Editor's note: Thistracker covers possible deals reported by media across the Asia-Pacific regionover a certain period. The information is gathered from various news sources,excludes confirmed deals and is limited to potential acquisitions or sales involvingcompanies or operations in the region. Click here to read the previous month's article.
A number of possible insurance deals surfaced in September, withsome insurers looking to snap up acquisitions and an Australian bankconsidering a sale of its insurance unit.
Bank ofQueensland Ltd. joined other banks in shedding noncore assets as itstudied a possible sale of its insurance unit, while is inexclusive talks to acquire Malaysia-based RHB Bank Bhd.'s general insurance unit and South Korea'sMirae Asset Life Insurance Co.Ltd. entered the fray to bid for PCA Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
Below is a snapshot ofSeptember reports of possible deals compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.Click here to download the infographic in a PDF with links to related stories,which can also be viewed by clicking on certain highlighted words throughoutthe text or headlines listed at the bottom.
Bank of Queensland is reportedly being advised by Citigroup about a possiblesale of its St Andrew's Insurance unit, TheAustralian Financial Review reported Sept. 8. Citigroup has studied themerits of a sale at several instances in the last six to 12 months, sourcestold the publication.
It is the latest Australian bank considering divestingnoncore assets in order to boost capital positions amid tougher regulatoryrequirements. Australia & NewZealand Banking Group Ltd. is going through with the sale of itsonline broking unit, ANZ Share Investing. A short list for second-round bidswas expected by mid-September.
Meanwhile, Tokio Marine's possible purchase of RHB Bank'sgeneral insurance unit underscores its drive to pursue overseas growth amid ashrinking domestic population and a stagnant economy.
The Japanese insurer was first to be in talks with RHB Bank tobuy its insurance unit in August. Malaysia is one of Tokio Marine's five areasof focus in Asia, including Thailand, Taiwan, India and Singapore. Tokio MarineCEO Tsuyoshi Nagano had said during a press conference in May that the insurerwould refrain from large acquisitions in mature markets but would continueM&A activity in emerging markets. Tokio Marine acquired U.S.-based HCCInsurance Holdings for US$7.50 billion in 2015.
Japanese insurers like Tokio Marine have ramped up overseasacquisitions as they search for growth outside of Japan. Most recently,Sompo Holdings Inc.agreed to acquireEndurance Specialty HoldingsLtd. for US$6.3 billion.
In South Korea, Mirae Asset Life a 150 billion won bid to acquirePCA Life Insurance, Yonhap News Agency reported Sept. 19. Mirae Asset Life'sbid was only half of the anticipated market price of the insurer. An executivefrom parent Mirae Asset Financial Group said the company had no intention ofpaying a high price for PCA Life.
Mirae Asset Life decided to submit a final bid on Sept. 8, it said in aSept. 9 regulatory disclosure. It is competingagainst a Chinese firm for control of the South Korean unit of . Aside from Mirae AssetLife, Hong Kong-based private equity firm Excelsior Capital Asia (HK) was alsoreportedly interested in bidding for PCA Life.
Meanwhile, other South Korean financial firms turned theirattention to the banking sector, with a particular focus on the government's30% stake in WooriBank.
The South Korean government is looking to sell its holdingin separate bundles of a minimum stake of 4%, which would include any currentshareholding in the bank, up to a maximum stake of 8%. South Korea's FinancialServices Commission said 18 companies placed bids for a stake, according toa Sept. 26 release. The FSC did not disclose the list of bidders.
Hanwha LifeInsurance Co. Ltd. and Korea Investment Holdings Co. Ltd. unit said in regulatory filings that they submitted to buy a stake.
Private equity funds Vogo Fund and IMM Private Equity alsoplaced bids, The Korea Economic Dailyreported Sept. 23.Mirae Asset Global InvestmentsCo. Ltd. is another bidder in the Woori Bank auction, News1 Koreareported Sept. 26, while KyoboLife Insurance Co. Ltd. is also reportedly interested acquiring a4% stake in the lender, Money Today Sept. 2.
Selections for a short list of bidders will be made inmid-November. The government plans to close the sale by Nov. 28, according tothe Public Fund Oversight Committee at a Sept. 26 meeting. The committee issupervising the auction.
Korea Investment & Securities is not limiting itself tobanking acquisitions. It is considering taking part in the proposed auction ofbrokerage HI Investment Securities Co. Ltd., according to a Sept. 5 regulatoryfiling. The company has yet to finalize its plans to bid for the brokerage.
To read articles about the other deal possibilities, clickon the following headlines:
Report:Permira in advanced talks to buy Bank of East Asia's share registryunit
Report: 3private equity firms bid for GE's 43% stake in Hyundai Card
Report: SocGenin discussions to sell stake in Chinese mutual fund
Report: KBKookmin Card eyes acquisition of Vietnamese microfinance firm
Report:L&T Finance Holdings in talks to sell private equity portfolio
Report:Goldman Sachs to sell 15% stake in India's Max Financial Services
SuvidhaaInfoserve to acquire small finance firm
Report: EdelweissAsset Reconstruction in talks with 3 foreign funds over possible sale
Millennium BCPto enter exclusive talks with Fosun on stake sale
Report: 3bidders lead race for UniCredit's asset management biz
Millennium BCPto expand talks with China's Fosun
Report:Goldman Sachs PE arm to sell Enstar Group stake to Chinese investmentfirm
Report:Britain to receive 2 bids for UK Green Investment Bank
Report: 3consortia to make final bids for UK Green Investment Bank
Report: AvolonHoldings nears deal to buy CIT Group's aircraft leasing biz
As of Oct. 11, US$1was equivalent to 1,126.28 South Korean won.