Pru, AXA, Allianz asked to buy HSBC's gen insurance unit: report

HONG KONG Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:54pm EDT

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Prudential (PRU.L), medical insurer Bupa, Allianz (ALVG.DE), AXA (AXAF.PA), Zurich Financial (ZURN.VX) and Mitsubishi Sumitomo Insurance Group (8725.T) have been approached to buy HSBC's (HSBA.L) general insurance unit, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

The entire general insurance portfolio will be sold for about $1 billion, the Hong Kong-based newspaper said, citing people familiar with the situation.

The newspaper said the bank and the insurers involved all declined to comment.

Reuters first reported on Sept 12 that HSBC had launched the sale of its general insurance business as part of the bank's plan to strip away non-core units.

It operates non-life insurance businesses in Britain, France, Hong Kong and Singapore.

In May, HSBC announced plans to sell non-core businesses, which included shrinking its network of 475 U.S. branches to focus on the international business of U.S. clients and the sale of several European retail banking businesses.

(Reporting by Kelvin Soh; Editing by Ken Wills)

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