Korea Life Considers Bid for ING’s Asia Insurance Business

By Ju-min Park | February 2, 2012

Korea Life Insurance Co. Ltd said on Thursday that it is reviewing the feasibility of bidding for ING Groep NV’s Asia-Pacific insurance operations.

The potential $6 billion deal is also expected to attract the interest of major overseas and local rivals.

AIA Group Ltd., Asia’s No.3 insurer and about one-third owned by American International Group Inc., may also bid for the ING’s Asian insurance operations, sources have said.

Korea Life, which has already lodged an initial bid for local peer Tong Yang Life Insurance Co. Ltd., said in a regulatory filing that no decision had been made on the ING bid, without providing further details.

ING operates in seven Asian countries, but its largest presences are in South Korea and Japan.

Korean banking groups KB Financial Group Inc. and Woori Finance Holdings Co. Ltd. are also keen on ING’s Korean assets, banking sources said earlier, adding that they might be interested in bidding if ING were willing to sell its Korean operations separately.

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