Mayban Fortis, the joint insurance venture between Maybank and Fortis, has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire a 74.24% stake in Malaysia National Insurance Holdings in a transaction valued at approximately MYR1.1 billion, or $302 million.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, pending regulatory approval. Upon full approval, the acquisition of Malaysia National Insurance Holdings MNIH will be followed by a mandatory public offer for the remainder of the ownership.

Listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, MNIH’s operating companies offer life, non-life, and takaful insurance, which respectively represent 40%, 28% and 32% of the company’s gross written premiums.

This strategic step is perfectly in line with our objective to grow in the promising Asian insurance markets, where penetration rates are still low compared to the more mature markets in Europe, said Peer van Harten, CEO of Fortis Insurance International.

Mayban Fortis is 70% owned by Maybank, the largest Malaysian bank, and 30% owned by, Fortis, a leading European financial services company. In fiscal 2005, gross written premiums issued by Mayban Fortis amounted to MYR1.4 billion or E297 million.