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Saturday, September 12, 2009

UOB plans to sell insurance unit

United Overseas Bank Ltd (UOB) of Singapore is selling its life insurance unit, according to sources involved in the auction in an effort to shed a non-core division and raise up to US$500 mil in the process.

The move shows a pick-up in confidence among executives seeking to divest business and high lights the continued interest of Western firms looking to tap Asia's growing personal wealth.

Sources said HSBC was advising SOuth-East Asia's second biggest lenger on the sale of the business, known as UOB Life Assurance.

Pruduential Plc was among the global insurer, has also shown interest in UOB Life. Great Eastern the largest insurance group in Singapore and Malaysia, dwarfing UOB Life with S$45 bil in assets and 3.8 million policyholders in both countries.

The auction comes at a time when global insurance companies are seeking to expand their networks in fast growing regions such as Asia..

- Reuters

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