Friday, June 04, 2010

Italy's Generali shows interest in AIA

ROME (AFP) - – Italian insurer Generali could be interested in "pieces" of AIG's Asian unit AIA after British insurer Prudential abandoned its ambitious takeover plan, daily Corriere della Sera reported on Thursday. "It is entirely premature to be talking about it," a spokesperson for the company told AFP. The newspaper, citing what it described as circles close to Generali, reported that Generali would be interested in purchasing AIA assets on the condition that American International Group cut the price and decide not to list the company. Last year, Generali had already tried to buy AIA's assets in the Philippines. Generali already has several subsidiaries in China. At the Milan stock exchange, Generali was gaining 2.1 percent as the market grew by 2.64 percent at around 0930 GMT. On Wednesday, Prudential ended its bid to become the world's top insurance firm outside China, after the troubled US group refused to cut the price tag from 35.5 billion dollars (29 billion euros) to nearer 30 billion dollars. The mammoth transaction would have been the biggest-ever takeover in the insurance sector. AIG, which was saved from bankruptcy by the US government in September 2008, announced last month it was selling AIA to Prudential and another unit, ALICO, to US rival MetLife to pay back a huge chunk of its government bailout.

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