Posted on Mar 08, 2010 by Sergio Ulloa
The high-growth of Asian markets is proving to be a tempting proposition for some European Insurers currently making unsolicited bids for the business of ING in that region. As per comments made by industry analysts it is thought that Zurich Financial Services Group, Allianz and Axa may be among the potential suitors for ING's Asia insurance unit.
As part of the restructuring deal mandated by the European Union, ING is splitting off of its global insurance operations and an IPO had been the initial preferred route, although they would keep their options open as communicated by a spokesman.
The bailout deal reached by ING with the authorities in the Netherlands was valued at more than GBP 7 billion back in 2008. Under the terms of the bailout package the European Commission regulators demanded ING to sell its insurance business within four years and focus on its banking operations.
There seems to be a growing number of trade buyers interested in targetting plans for IPOs. The announcement of Prudential Plc buying AIA from AIG
is a good example of the type of interest some European companies are demonstrating, playing their role as industry consolidators, after emerging relatively unscathed of the financial crisis in insurance.
According to a recent comment by ING's CEO, there have been several companies interested in acquiring their Asia business, although Zurich Financial, AXA and Allianz all have declined to comment whether they are prospective purchasers.
Insurance Companies mentioned:
ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services serving more than 85 million private, corporate and institutional customers in Europe, North and Latin America, Asia and Australia. ING Group is active in banking, investment management, life insurance and retirement services across 14 major economies in the Asia Pacific region, employing over 23,000 staff.
With nearly 155,000 employees worldwide, the Allianz Group serves approximately 75 million customers in about 70 countries. On the insurance side, Allianz is the market leader in the German market and has a strong international presence. In fiscal 2009 the Allianz Group achieved total revenues of over 97.4 billion euros. Allianz is also one of the world's largest asset managers, with third-party assets of 926 billion euros under management at year end 2009.
AXA Group is a worldwide leader in Financial Protection. AXA's operations are diverse geographically, with major operations in Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific area.
Zurich Financial Services Group is an insurance-based financial services provider with a workforce of approximately 60,000 people. Founded in 1872, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, and serving their customers in more than 170 countries. Aims to become one of the top five global insurers.