Korea Life Insurance Co and KB Financial Group have been shortlisted by ING for its life underwriting businesses in Asia.

Sources close to the matter have told that the sales process allows bidders to bid for only part of the business, but Korea Life’s bid is for the entire Asian operations while KB Financial is eyeing only Korean operations.

According to industry estimates, the deal is worth over $6.5bn, placing it as one of the biggest insurance deals in the Asia-Pacific region.

Other bidders who submitted their proposals for the acquisition included Metlife, Prudential Financial, Manulife Financial and Sun Life Financial, Samsung Life Insurance and Hong Kong-listed AIA.

ING’s Asian business is mostly concentrated in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand with South Korea and Japan account for about two thirds of the business.

The proposed sale is in line with a restructuring requirements agreement with the European Commission, which was inked prior to receiving approval for a government aid during the financial crisis in November 2008.

The proceeds from the sale will be used by ING to repay the Dutch state aid.