American International Group, seeking to raise cash to repay around $180 billion in bail-out loans, has agreed to sell its Hong Kong consumer finance and India-based IT services units.
China Construction Bank (CCB) Asia, the country’s second-biggest lender will buy 100 percent of AIG Finance (Hong Kong) Ltd for $70 million in cash in a deal that includes repayment of intra-group indebtedness and deposits of about $557 million, the two companies said on Wednesday.
AIG, once the world’s largest insurer, is winding down some units and selling others to cut risky investments to stabilize the company and raise cash after being rescued by the U.S. government during the height of the credit crisis last year.
The U.S. firm said on Tuesday AIG Financial Products had completed the sale of its energy and infrastructure investment assets, for net proceeds of about $1.9 billion.
AIG has stepped up plans to list its Asian insurance unit, American International Assurance Co. Ltd (AIA), in Hong Kong after failing to find a buyer for a large stake in it earlier this year.
The company has also been seeking buyers for its Taiwan unit Nan Shan Life.
Buying AIG Finance would help CCB to expand in Hong Kong by significantly increasing the customer base as well as market share in the consumer banking market, the Chinese lender said.
AIG Finance, which sells credit cards and operates as a restricted licence bank, has more than 500,000 customers and employs about 350 people.
Chinese banks including CCB, China Merchants Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) are expanding abroad as western rivals shrink overseas operations due to the global financial crisis.
INDIA IT SERVICES UNIT
Separately, AIG has agreed to sell its 100 percent holding in its Indian IT services and solutions arm, AIG Systems Solutions Private Ltd, to local outsourcer MphasiS Ltd for an undisclosed amount.
AIG Systems Solutions, which provides IT services to AIG firms globally, has more than 800 staff at its facilities in Indian cities of Chennai and Kolkata, said MphasiS, owned by Electronic Data Systems Corp., a unit of Hewlett-Packard.
Indian outsourcing companies have been buying local IT services units of the global financial giants, who are reeling under the impact of the financial meltdown, to boost their service offerings and acquire new customers.
In December, Wipro Ltd, India’s third-ranked IT services firm, announced the acquisition of Citi Technology Services Ltd for $127 million, as the embattled Citigroup looked to shed assets outside its core business.
Shares in CCB fell 1.7 percent in a weak Hong Kong market, while MphasiS was trading 0.3 percent lower in a softer Mumbai market.
($1 = 6.832 Yuan=48.4 rupees)
(Additional reporting by Jacqueline Wong; Editing by Lincoln Feast)
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