Malaysia-based diversified financial conglomerate CIMB Group is seriously exploring options to divest certain stake in Indonesian life-insurance joint venture (JV), PT CIMB Sun Life, to leverage growth opportunities in Southeast Asia.
Sources familiar with the matter were quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that the stake sale in the JV is likely to fetch approximately $200m for the Malaysian lender.
Additionally, the sources told the news agency that the discussion is in preliminary stage, and the deal might not be materialized, but if it happens, it would mark CIMB’s exit from the Indonesian market.
Instituted in 2009 by CIMB and Toronto-based Sun Life Financial, the insurance JV had total premium income of $100m in 2012 from its life, accident and health products, up by 15% from the same period last year.
Currently, CIMB owns a 51% stake in the insurance JV and it is believed that the Malaysian-government-owned investment fund Khazanah Nasional will be preferred choice for the deal, although either party has not confirmed it.
In recent times, Khazanah has been boosting its insurance holdings in Southeast Asia and earlier this year, Sun Life and Khazanah partnered to acquire Malaysian life insurer CIMB Aviva in a deal valued approximately $600m.
Since the Southeast Asian insurance market has shown considerable growth, other global insurers have been competing to set their business in the region.
Recently, Manulife Financial, MetLife, ACE Insurance were short-listed for a majority stake in the life-insurance division of Malaysian banking group AMMB.