Citigroup has picked AIA Group as its partner in a multi-billion-dollar distribution deal that will allow the Asian life insurer's products to be sold through the U.S. bank's network across the region, people familiar with the matter said.
If successfully integrated, the deal is set to become one of the biggest bank-based insurance distribution arrangements in Asia, allowing both companies to capitalize from rising premiums in the region's emerging markets.
The agreement, expected to be announced on Thursday, will give broader reach to AIA, unlocking access to Citi's more than 560 branches in the region and boosting sales in fast-growing Asian markets.
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The publicly traded Asian life group was among five insurers – MetLife of the US, London-based Prudential, Canada's Manulife Financial and FWD Group of Hong Kong – to have bid for the distribution deal.
The arrangement, set to generate billions of dollars in revenue, was offered by Citi – one of the top international bank distribution platforms in Asia – as global insurers increasingly count on banks' distribution networks.