Korea Life Insurance Co Ltd, a unit of South Korean Hanwha Group (KRX:000880) may drop plans to further compete for the acquisition of Dutch ING Groep NV’s (AMS:INGA) life insurance business in Southeast Asia, Chang Il-hyung, spokesman for Hanwha Group, told reporters on Monday.
Korea Life placed a final offer for the ING business in July, when Japanese Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co Ltd (TYO:8750) and Canadian Manulife Financial Corp (TSE:MFC) have also submitted offers for parts of ING’s Asian operations, according to Reuters.
Now, Hanwha Group’s spokesman says that despite its efforts, Korea Life had failed to secure an advantageous position in the race in many ways.
ING is selling the Asian insurance and asset management activities as it needs to pay back the state aid received during the financial crisis. According to Reuters, these operations are worth some USD7bn (EUR5.7bn).
The Dutch group, which has so far disposed of EUR15.2bn worth of assets globally since its bailout in 2008, has received strong interest for its insurance business in Southeast Asia where significant economic growth is seen to lead to fast increase in life premiums, Reuters has said.
Japan and South Korea make up for two thirds of ING’s Asian operations.