French insurance provider AXA is rumored to be on the edge of securing a deal with Kyobo Life Insurance Company, to purchase a majority stake in the South Korean insurer's online auto insurance arm, according to sources including Reuters and Youhap News.

The deal is expected to be worth $106 million and would position AXA to be the first foreign player in South Korea’s auto insurance market, after its withdrawal from South Korea’s life insurance market in 2001, reported Reuters.

Reuters cited a Kyobo spokesman who had said that the group was still in negotiations with the French general insurer to sell its 74.7% stake in Kyobo Auto Insurance, but confirmed that no deal had yet been signed.

AXA has been seeking opportunities to expand its Asian footprint since 2006, and, in particular, has been focusing on the possibility of starting an auto insurance arm in East Asia through acquisitions of small and mid-sized local insurance firms, Reuters revealed.