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 insurance unit 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, although last-minute regulatory approvals could delay the official announcement, the sources said.

AIA was in the lead to buy both the Malaysian and Thai units of ING, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in early September. However, ING is now bundling the Thai unit with its much larger Japan and Hong Kong operations and selling that group to another suitor, the sources said.

The sources declined to be identified as the information has not yet been made public. ING and AIA declined to comment.

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

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