BRITISH insurer Prudential is set to dominate the life insurance scene in Singapore and much of Asia after a huge new takeover deal with its origins in the global financial crisis.
Prudential confirmed yesterday that it plans to pay US$35.5billion (S$50billion) to buy American International Assurance (AIA), the Asian life insurance arm of American International Group (AIG).
The deal will allow AIG to pay back some of its US$182.5billion debt to the US government, which bailed out the insurance giant at the height of the financial crisis in late 2008.
As a result of the planned deal, Prudential will become the largest life insurer in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, said its chief executive Tidjane Thiam. It will also become the leading international player in China and India, he said.
In Singapore, the combination of Prudential and AIA will create a powerful giant with a combined agency size of 7,800 insurance agents and more than 3.2million policies.
The merged entity's closest rival here will be local insurer Great Eastern (GE) Life with just 2,700 agents and three million policies. Market observers said it was too early to tell if there would be job losses.