Sunday, October 24, 2010

AIG's Asian Arm Raises $17.9 Billion in Hong Kong IPO

AIA, the Asian life insurance arm of American International Group, raised $17.85 billion by pricing its Hong Kong IPO at the top end an indicated range, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told on Friday, a deal that saw heavy demand from funds seeking a piece of one of the region's best known industry brands.

People arrive for the AIA group limited global offering in Hong Kong on October 6, 2010.

The pricing of the IPO puts an end to AIG's and failed to purchase AIA earlier this year.

The IPO will value AIA at $30.5 billion at top end and AIG will continue to hold 41.6 percent. AIG's stake will drop to 33 percent if it exercises the green-shoe option in full.

AIA sold 5.86 billion secondary shares at HK$19.68 each compared with a range of HK$18.38 to HK$19.68, the sources said. The company also exercised the upsize option to sell an additional 1.17 billion secondary shares, due to strong demand from investors.

Sources declined to be identified as AIG was yet to make the decision public. An AIA spokeswoman was not available for an immediate comment.

A poll released last week forecast AIG to sell shares at HK$19.14 each.

AIG will use the IPO proceeds to pay back part of the bail out package it received from the U.S. government during the 2008 financial crisis.

The IPO is on course to be the third-biggest ever globally, if AIG decides to exercise the green-shoe option.

AIA's trading debut is set for Oct. 29, under the symbol "1299".

AIA's unique position as the only listed life insurer with a wide foot print in the rapidly growing Asia Pacific region is a big draw for investors, fund managers said.

The company operates in 15 markets in Asia. Unlike many other foreign insurers, AIA has 100 percent ownership of its entities in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. AIA has more than 300,000 agents in Asia.

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