PREIGNAC, France, June 6 French insurance group
AXA is interested in buying insurance assets put up for
sale by Brazilian bank Itau Unibanco, Chief Executive
Henri de Castries said on Friday.
Itau said in January its high-risk corporate insurance unit
- specialising in segments such as oil and gas, and
infrastructure - was for sale. Analysts said at the time the
business should fetch about 1 billion reais ($424 million).
The unit has annual revenue of about 1.7 billion reais and
clients including state-oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA.
"It is something that is being offered, and I would be
surprised if we were the only ones" to see the opportunity, de
Castries said at a presentation in Preignac, in southwestern
Faced with low interest rates in the United States and the
euro zone, AXA has sold some of its businesses in developed
markets and spent 5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) since 2010 on
acquiring companies in countries such as China and Colombia.
AXA said in February it was looking for more acquisitions in
"The only hole in the picture is Brazil," de Castries said,
although he said he was in no rush.
($1 = 2.36 Brazilian reais)
($1 = 0.7332 Euros)
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Writing by Andrew Callus; Editing
by James Regan)