Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Thailand’s SCB Life up for sale

The life insurance business of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) is now open for bidding, according to people familiar with the development.

SCB, the third largest lender in Thailand, is looking to raise about Bt106 billion (US$3 billion) from the sale.

Sources said Prudential, AIA Group and Manulife Financial are among insurers considering a bid.

Last year, SCB was aiming to sell a 49% stake in the unit, but the process was stalled due to the changes in foreign shareholder rules governing the sector.

This year, the bidding resumes and the first round of bids is expected to take place by early February.

The Thai government has put the cap for foreign companies’ stakes in domestic insurance ventures at 49%.

This rule was eased last March under the condition that the change in stake clears the finance ministry first.

SCB Life was set up in 1976 with registered capital of Bt100 million under the name Mahanakorn Life Insurance.

Two years later, SCB, the Crown Property Bureau and affiliated companies held a majority stake in the company and changed the name to SCB Life Assurance to support the business growth.

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