AIG raises $7.87 bln from AIA stake sale

AIG raises $7.87 bln from AIA stake sale

HONG KONG - American International Group Inc raised $6.45 billion (S$7.87 billion) from the sale of its remaining stake in AIA Group Ltd in Asia's second-largest block sale ever, exiting a business the US insurer started nearly 100 years ago.

The sale, which priced near the top of its indicative range, marks the end of an era for AIG in Asia and its Chief Executive Robert Benmosche, who took AIA public in Hong Kong in the world's third-biggest IPO two years ago.

AIG was forced to sell parts of its massive business, including AIA, after the US government bailed the company out in 2008 as it teetered on the brink of collapse.

The government ultimately spent $182 billion on the rescue.

AIG priced its 13.69 per cent stake or 1.65 billion shares in Asia's third-largest insurer at HK$30.30 per share.

The deal had been marketed at HK$29.65-HK$30.65 apiece.

That is a discount of up to 4.3 per cent to AIA's close at HK$31.65 in Hong Kong on Friday.

Trade in AIA was suspended on Monday at the company's request.

"There are plenty of candidates out there ready to buy into the stock," said Ping Cheng, an insurance analyst at DBS Vickers in Shanghai.

"AIA offers very solid growth outlook and has a profitable profile. The expectation is that there is plenty of growth out there. They just did an acquisition in Thailand, they're in the low penetration markets like Vietnam, Cambodia."

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