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Five insurers in final round for Citi's Asia bank distribution deal

Thursday, 28 Nov 2013 | 10:59 PM ET

HONG KONG, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Five insurers including Metlife Inc and Manulife Financial Corp have submitted final bids to have their products distributed by Citigroup in Asia, a deal estimated to generate more than $10 billion in revenue over 15 years, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

British insurer Prudential Plc, pan Asian insurer AIA Group Ltd and Richard Li's insurance company FWD Group are the other companies that have submitted final bids, they said.

There will most likely be just one successful bidder, although there is an outside chance that Citigroup may pick two given that the deal covers 14 Asian markets, one person said.

The estimated $10 billion in future sales would be split between the winning insurer and Citigroup, and the deal also includes an exclusivity payment of $1.5-2 billion by the insurer to Citigroup, the people added.

A successful bid would give that firm access to Citigroup's 600 branches and over 34 million retail accounts in the region where the Wall Street bank has about $218 billion under management, including the assets of its private bank.

A Citigroup spokesman declined to comment, as did representatives for the five insurance companies. Sources declined to be identified as the discussions are private.

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