FWD in talks with MetLife Hong Kong: report

June 26 2019 by InsuranceAsia News Staff

FWD Group is in advanced talks to buy MetLife’s Hong Kong division according to sources acknowledged by Bloomberg.

It is understood the businesses could reach a sales agreement in the next few weeks for around US$400 million.

If sold at the US$400 million valuation MetLife would sell the asset for less than its US$400 million embedded value – which is a measure of the value of its insurance contracts.

MetLife Hong Kong describes itself as one of the fastest growing life insurers in the market and is a wholly owned subsidiary of MetLife.

FWD, which is majority-owned by Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li, has been pursuing a fast growth strategy in Asia as it sets about its plan to IPO in the region – possibly in Singapore.

In another sign of its ambitions earlier this year FWD revived talks about a potential acquisition of the life insurance operations of Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank – one of Thailand’s largest life books.

FWD declined to comment, while MetLife Hong Kong said the firm does not comment on market speculation or rumours.