Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia (BEA) is reportedly looking to divest its general insurance unit, which if materialised could rake in $300m-$400m.
Several global insurers are vying for Blue Cross (Asia-Pacific) Insurance, with a formal procedure expected to start in 2022, reported Bloomberg citing people with knowledge of the issue.
BEA is said to be working with Goldman Sachs Group on the move, though no official confirmation has been provided by the companies.
However, the consideration is at a primary stage and the possibility of a deal is still uncertain, stated the report.
The bank is currently looking to sell its non-core assets and instead prioritise growth areas including its China operations.
“For Blue Cross (Asia Pacific) Insurance Limited, BEA’s wholly-owned general insurance arm (“Blue Cross”),
underwriting profit normalised following an exceptional result last year, when medical claims ratios dropped as customers avoided treatment during COVID-19,” the bank revealed in its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2021.
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In March this year, AIA Group agreed to buy BEA’s life insurance unit, BEA Life, for nearly $650m.
BEA also agreed to distribute AIA’s life as well as long-term savings products to its retail banking customers.
The sale was driven by pressure from activist investor Elliott Management for reforms and followed a strategic review.
Investment firm China Strategic too was eyeing the life insurance business.