Holland’s ING Group agreed to sell Aetna Vida S.A., an Argentine life subsidiary it acquired last year as part of Aetna’s international operations, to AIG’s American Life Insurance Company for an undisclosed price.
The Dutch group denied that the sale had anything to do with Argentina’s current financial difficulties, and said that the sale was only a small part of its holdings in the country, and was part of the integration of Aetna’s operations into ING. The company said it would continue its commitment to long term growth in Lain America.
AIG expressed similar optimism. R. Kendall Nottingham, AIG Executive V.P. Life Insurance and ALICO Chairman stated, “As Latin American countries prosper, and the middle class grows, the need for life insurance has become that much more important. AIG has had a long history in the Argentine market and is confident in the country’s future prospects. The acquisition of Aetna Vida will strengthen our presence in Argentina’s life insurance market and enable ALICO to take advantage of the many growth opportunities we see in Argentina.”
ING also focused its energies on eastern Europe with the announcement that it had acquired an additional 19.7 percent of Polish regional Bank Slaski, and intended to merge it with its wholly-owned subsidiary ING Warsaw. ING now has 74.7 percent of Slaski, and could probably complete the merger, even if minority shareholders disapprove.
It plans to use its enhanced presence in Poland both to expand traditional banking activities and to offer life insurance, pension and annuity products and on-line banking in the country.
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