ING agrees to sell Malaysia insurance unit to AIA -sources

By Denny Thomas and Saeed Azhar

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE, Oct 10 (Reuters) - AIA Group Ltd

has agreed to buy ING's Malaysian insuranceunit and is expected to pay $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion,sources familiar with the process told Reuters.

A deal could be announced as early as Thursday, althoughlast-minute regulatory approvals could delay the officialannouncement, the sources said.

AIA was in the lead to buy both the Malaysian and Thai unitsof ING, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in earlySeptember. However, ING is now bundling the Thai unit with itsmuch larger Japan and Hong Kong operations and selling thatgroup to another suitor, the sources said.

The sources declined to be identified as the information hasnot yet been made public. ING and AIA declined to comment.

(Additional reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by MichaelFlaherty and Edmund Klamann)

((edmund.klamann@thomsonreuters.com; +813 6441 1841; ReutersMessaging: Reuters Messaging:edmund.klamann.thomsonreuters@reuters.net))