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Commonwealth Bank of Australia exploring options for Indonesian insurance unit

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is exploring alternatives for its life insurance unit in Indonesia, including a possible sale.

The lender said it is "undertaking a strategic review" of PT Commonwealth Life and has engaged external advisers to advise on a possible sale of the business. The bank owns an 80% stake in the insurer, it said in a March 29 release.

CBA's decision to explore alternatives for PT Commonwealth Life follows an agreement in September 2017 to sell its life insurance businesses in Australia and New Zealand to Hong Kong-based AIA Group Ltd. The bank is also said to be seeking to sell or outsource its general insurance business, with a recent media report saying German, Chinese and U.S. insurers have expressed interest in those operations.

Jakarta-headquartered PT Commonwealth Life serves more than 400,000 individual and group customers, with a presence in 20 of Indonesia's major cities.

In January, Reuters reported that CBA was in talks with several investment banks about a sale of its majority stake in PT Commonwealth Life. The news outlet added a deal could value the Indonesian insurer at around US$200 million to US$250 million.