AMMB in RM812m deal with MetLife

Business Times

AMMB HOLDINGS Bhd (AMMB) has struck an RM812 million deal with American insurer MetLife Inc to sell some of its stakes in AmLife Insurance Bhd and AmFamily Takaful Bhd.

MetLife will get a 51 per cent stake in AmLife and 49 per cent of AmFamily Takaful in return for RM812 million it will pay AMMB.

AMMB will seek a written approval from Bank Negara Malaysia and/or the minister of finance, it said in a statement yesterday.

Definitive agreements will be sealed upon getting the nod, it added.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, MetLife was one of a handful of bidders shortlisted for a 70 per cent stake in AmLife.

AMMB ultimately decided to sell just 51 per cent of its life insurance company due to regulatory requirements on foreign ownership.

As part of the deal, AmLife and AmTakaful will enter into exclusive 20-year bancassurance and bancatakaful agreements, said AMMB chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim.

The agreements are for the distribution of life insurance and family takaful products through AMMB's banking network across Malaysia.

"We believe that MetLife's global expertise in life insurance products, combined with the strength of AMMB's distribution network, will allow us to offer market-leading products to our customers," he said in the statement.

AMMB group managing director Ashok Ramamurthy said the partnership underscores its vision of becoming Malaysia's preferred diversified, internationally-connected financial solutions group.

"With MetLife's global expertise, best-in-class capabilities, innovative products and services, we will materialise the full growth potential of our life insurance and takaful businesses," he added.