ING Groep was said by sources to be close to an agreement to sell its Hong Kong and Thai insurance businesses to Richard Li for some $2.2 billion.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that Li, son of Asia’s third richest man, was said to be in final negotiations with ING over the deal and the announcement could be made as early as Friday. According to the sources, the Thai business was probably to be valued at less than $200 million while the Hong Kong business was likely to be set at $2.1 billion.
ING has been working to comply with European Union regulator orders to divest itself of assets so that it can satisfy conditions of its bailouts, totaling some 10 billion euros ($13 billion), from the government in 2008 and 2009. As it does so, it’s also selling banking assets so that it can more quickly repay a remaining 3 billion euros with premiums.
Among the bailout conditions is a requirement to sell both its insurance business and its investment management business, with both divestitures to be completed before the end of 2013. It reached an agreement earlier this month to sell off its Malaysia insurance business unit to AIA Group for $1.7 billion.