(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Oct 12 - Fitch Ratings says that American International Assurance Company Limited, ThailandBranch's (AIA Thailand) 'AAA(tha)' National Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) Rating with StableOutlook will not be affected by American International Assurance Company Limited's (AIA) plannedpurchase of ING Management Holdings (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (ING Malaysia) from ING Insurance AsiaN.V.
Fitch is of the view that the proposed purchase for EUR1.336bn (USD1.73bn) in cash will notmaterially affect the strong financial fundamentals of AIA and its Thailand branch, given themodest size of the acquisition relative to AIA's capital base. The proposed transaction issubject to approvals from the relevant authorities.
The transaction, if successfully executed, should bring about strategic benefits andoperational synergies to the AIA Group with a combined customer base of over 2.6 million. Itwill elevate the group's franchise and presence in Malaysia and make AIA Group the largestinsurer in the market. It will also broaden its existing bancassurance distribution with theaddition of an exclusive long-term bancassurance arrangement with Public Bank Berhad ,one of Malaysia's established banking groups with over five million customers and more than 250branches. This will contribute positively to AIA Group's overall credit profile. Nonetheless,the integration process would take time, as this is AIA Group's first major acquisition sinceits IPO listing in HK in 2010.