Asia tycoons jump on AIG fund arm sale

ASIAN investors are scrambling to add their names to the consortium of buyers set to snap up AIG&rsquo;s asset management unit, which is being sold as part of the insurer&rsquo;s fire-sale to repay its US government bailout loans.<br /><br />Singapore&rsquo;s Temasek and the Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li are close to joining a consortium, led by US fund manager Franklin Templeton, which is the front-runner to buy AIG&rsquo;s asset management business for around $500m (&pound;305m).<br /><br />The move by the two Asian-based investors would enable the consortium, which is in exclusive negotiations to buy the insurer&rsquo;s asset management unit, to tap into the vast riches of the region&rsquo;s fast-growing upper and middle classes.<br /><br />An alliance of Temasek, the investment fund controlled by the Singaporean government and Mr Li, the son of Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong&rsquo;s richest man, would represent a rare grouping of players from two of Asia&rsquo;s most fiercely competitive financial centres.<br /><br />A deal for the AIG arm, which has $85bn (&pound;52bn) under management, is one of many sales being made by stricken AIG, and could be completed by the end of the month.<br /><br />AIG is also selling two buildings in New York, it emerged yesterday, including its headquarters at 70 Pine Street.<br /><br />Separately, AIG said it agreed to sell its consumer finance operations in Argentina for nearly $44m to Banco Galicia and an investment group led by Grupo Pegasus. Banco Galicia bought 80 per cent, with Pegasus taking the remaining 20 per cent.<br /><br /><strong>AIG: KEY BAILOUTS AND SELL-OFFS</strong><br /><strong>16 September 08</strong><br />Avoids bankruptcy thanks to an $85bn rescue that gives the US government a 79.9 per cent stake.<br /><br /><strong>3 October 08</strong><br />Announces plans to sell assets to repay its government debts.<br /><br /><strong>10 November 08</strong><br />Posts a record $25bn quarterly loss, hurt for the fourth consecutive quarter by writedowns on assets linked to subprime mortgages and capital losses. <br /><strong><br />10 November 08</strong><br />Gets $53.5bn toxic debt aid.<br /><br /><strong>22 December 08</strong><br />German insurer Munich Re set to buy HSB Group arm. <br /><br /><strong>26 January 09</strong><br />Takes on BoA and Merrill Lynch to help it sell off AIG Investments. <br /><br /><strong>2 March 09</strong><br />US Treasury and Fed make $30bn further aid available. <br /><br /><strong>9 April 09</strong><br />US Fed makes $5bn available for aircraft leasing arm bailout<br /><br /><strong>17 April 09</strong><br />Zurich Financial Services to buy its US Personal Auto Group.<br /><br /><strong>17 May 09</strong><br />American International Assurance arm faces sale to stock market.<br /><br /><strong>3 June 09</strong><br />Asian tycoons join fund arm bid.