April 26, 2018 / 8:59 AM / 10 months ago

Zurich considers stake sale, IPO of Malaysia life unit -source

LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) - Zurich Insurance is considering a stake sale or initial public offering of its wholly-owned Malaysian life insurance unit, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Foreign insurers are required to cut their stakes in their local units to 70 percent to abide by a directive announced by Malaysia’s central bank last year under an initiative to lift domestic participation in the industry.

British insurer Prudential is in non-exclusive talks to sell a 30 percent stake in its Malaysian unit to Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP), Malaysia’s No.2 pension fund, in a deal worth $435 million, Reuters reported last month.

Other insurers such as Great Eastern Holdings and Tokio Marine Holdings are also looking to find ways of divesting stakes in their Malaysian units and submit plans to the regulator before a June deadline.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday citing a source that a 30 percent stake in Zurich could fetch $100 million. (Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Jason Neely)

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