Private credit might be less attractive than it was last year as investors rush into the market, but there are sweet spots to be found.
The A$575 million sale of MLC Hong Kong and MLC Indonesia cleared regulatory hurdles on Wednesday, bringing to a close a deal that was signed in February.
NAB says it will continue to develop its financial services businesses in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan based on premium banking, wealth management and corporate banking.
AXA Asia-Pacific is calling the deal a strategic success. ôLife insurance margins in Hong Kong are very attractive and, with high savings ratios there is considerable growth potential for life insurance, investment products and wealth management,ö says Les Owen, group chief executive of AXA Asia-Pacific.
ôOur existing 2,400 strong agency and adviser distribution force will be strengthened with the addition of over 800 agents.ö
In Indonesia, Owen says the integration of MLC will add 1,000 agents to its existing force of 1,100, making AXA ôthe second largest life insurer in terms of new businessö.
AXA will fund the transaction from internal capital resources. The acquisition will be earnings neutral in 2006 before one-off integration costs, and is expected to be earnings accretive in 2007.
Regulators keep their eyes open on tightening insurance industry by introducing more detailed risk management requirements, which could bring pressure on smaller players.
China and India are more obvious choices for AustralianSuper to consider in Asia Pacific, but the super fund currently lacks the expertise and prefers to stick to the US and Europe.
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Investors are increasingly turning to private companies and private debt in their hunt for ESG alpha, but the age-old problem of transparency and due diligence remains