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Allianz and AXA locked in bidding war

Allianz and AXA locked in bidding war

Allianz and AXA locked in bidding war The battle is on between two of the biggest insurers on the continent – and all over access to a UK lender’s regional banking network in Asia.

Bloomberg has reported that Allianz, Europe’s biggest insurer, and AXA, of France, were both among the first round bidders attempting to win the rights to distribute general insurance via Standard Chartered’s outlets across the continent.

According to the report, Standard Chartered wants about $400 million in a deal it expects to be concluded by the end of the year. The bancassurance deal would then give the winning bidder distribution rights for 15 years – although the insurance giants are not alone in the bidding war, with MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, an $18 billion Japanese group, also in contention.

Bancassurance deals are nothing new in the region. Indeed banks in Asia have been negotiating similar partnerships over the last 12 months thanks to a surge in interest for insurance products among the region’s ever increasing wealthy population. Recent deals include CIMB Group Holdings Bhd agreeing in June to distribute Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings’ non-life products; while Canadian company Fairfax Financial Holdings is close to a deal to buy 80% of PT Paninvest’s non-life unit.

Indeed Standard Chartered itself has already entered into an agreement in the region. In 2014 it signed a 15-year deal with Prudential to distribute the latter’s life insurance products across Asia.
According to the Bloomberg report, representatives from Allianz, AXA and Standard Chartered refused to comment on the potential deal.

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