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StanChart said to mull insurance distribution deal in Asia
[SINGAPORE] Standard Chartered Plc is considering inviting bids from insurers to distribute their non-life products through the London-based bank's hundreds of branches and outlets in Asia, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The lender, which generates most of its income from Asia, is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co on the so-called bancassurance agreement, the people said, asking not to be identified as the process is private. The potential partner could pay at least US$400 million for access to Standard Chartered's network in the region, they said.
Financial institutions have been negotiating similar partnerships this year in Asia as demand for insurance products rises among the region's increasingly wealthy. CIMB Group Holdings Bhd agreed this month to distribute Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings Inc non-life products in Southeast Asia. Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd is nearing a deal for control of PT Paninvest's non-life unit that would include a distribution component, people with knowledge of the matter said last month.
Representatives for Standard Chartered and JPMorgan declined to comment in e-mailed responses to Bloomberg queries.
Standard Chartered has more than 700 branches in Asia, including 79 in Hong Kong and 19 in Singapore. The lender entered a new 15-year agreement with Prudential Plc in 2014 to distribute its life-insurance products in Asia, according to the bank's website.
Chief executive officer Bill Winters, after taking over last year with a mandate to turn around the struggling lender, has picked a new management team, sold businesses and identified US$100 billion of risky assets to restructure or exit.