AIG mulls China venture with PICC Life

The Associated Press

American International Group Inc. is proposing to form a venture with Chinese insurer PICC Life to sell life insurance and other products in China.

AIG said Thursday that it signed a non-binding agreement with The People's Insurance Co. (Group) of China Ltd. and PICC Life Insurance Co. Ltd. PICC Group is planning to go public in Hong Kong, and New York-based AIG said it plans to buy about $500 million of shares of PICC in its IPO.

AIG became a household name after it received $182.5 billion in federal aid, the biggest bailout of the financial crisis.

In the years since, AIG sold off divisions and raised money to repay the government loans. Today AIG is about half the size of its former self. One of those sales included a chunk of its stake in another Asian insurer, AIA Group Ltd.

The company has since repaid its debt with the Federal Reserve, and stock sales by the Treasury Department mean that as of September the government is no longer AIG's majority owner.

AIG has also been profitable the last two years.

The insurer also owns just under 10 percent of another unit of PICC Group called PICC Property and Casualty Co. Ltd., which already trades in Hong Kong.