AIG Asian unit IPO expected to raise $14.1 billion

AP News
Posted: Oct 17, 2010 10:50 PM
AIG Asian unit IPO expected to raise $14.1 billion

The Hong Kong listing of American International Group's Asian unit is expected to raise $14.1 billion for AIG's repayment of bailout funds from the U.S. government, the Asian insurer said.

AIA Group Ltd. said in a prospectus issued Sunday it plans to sell 586 million shares in Hong Kong and 5.27 billion shares internationally at a price range of HK$18.38 ($2.40) to HK$19.68 ($2.50) per share.

Some $190 billion has not been repaid from the massive Wall Street bailouts launched during President George W. Bush's final months in office as the financial crisis unfolded.

AIG, which suffered massive losses on investments in complex derivatives, received $182 billion _ the biggest rescue package extended to the financial industry.

Officials believed its survival was crucial because AIG worked with hundreds of financial institutions around the world.

The $14.1 billion will be used to repay an initial $20 billion AIG received from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, AIA said. AIG is also repaying other sums it owes the U.S. government by letting the U.S. Treasury exchange its majority stake in the company for common stock and selling those shares over time.

The IPO comes after AIG failed to sell AIA to fellow insurer Prudential PLC in a deal worth $35.5 billion.

The estimated proceeds from the share sale are based on the midpoint price of HK$19.03 ($2.45) per share and deducts projected underwriting fees and other expenses.

AIA says institutional investors have pledged to buy $1.92 billion in shares. Major investors include the Kuwait Investment Authority ($1 billion), the Malaysian government employee pension fund Kumpulan Wang Persaraan ($200 million) and Malaysia's Hong Leong Financial Group Berhad, which is investing $370 million and $50 million through two units.

Hong Kong tycoons Cheng Yu-tung and Peter Woo have also signed on. Cheng is buying $388 million in shares through an investment holding company and the same amount through his company NWS Financial Management Services Ltd. Woo pledged $200 million through Lorita Investments Ltd.

Retail investors in Hong Kong can start applying for shares Monday and trading will start Oct. 29.

AIA, which operates in 15 Asian territories, said it recorded an interim operating profit of $1.134 billion this fiscal year and is expected to post a full-year operating profit of no less than $2 billion. It reported an operating profit of $1.78 billion last year.

The insurer said it plans to expand by targeting India and China, where it's the largest foreign life insurer by premiums, and moving into Islamic finance in Malaysia and Indonesia.