AIG flags $2 bn pre-tax profit for AIA in 2010

AIG flags $2 bn pre-tax profit for AIA in 2010

Hong Kong: AIA Group Ltd, the Asian life insurance business of American International Group Inc, will likely have a pre-tax operating profit of at least $2 billion for the fiscal year ending on 30 November 2010, AIG said on Saturday.

“We believe that, in the absence of unforeseen circumstances, and, on the bases and assumptions set forth below, our consolidated operating profit for the fiscal year ending 30 November 2010 is unlikely to be less than $2 billion," the statement said.

The bailed-out US insurer plans to list AIA in Hong Kong and the initial public offering could raise about $15 billion, which would make it the biggest-ever insurance IPO and a record offering in Hong Kong.

The profit forecast comes ahead of pre-marketing of the IPO which kicks off on Monday to gauge demand for the offer. The roadshows will begin on 6 October, while the listing is scheduled for 29 October.

AIA’s planned IPO comes after AIG tried unsuccessfully to sell its Asian business earlier this year to Britain’s Prudential Plc for $35.5 billion. The British insurer had asked AIG to cut the price to $30.4 billion, but it was turned down, leading to the termination of the agreement.

Hong Kong-based AIA had about $1.84 billion in pre-tax operating profit in 2009, Prudential said in a March filing.

AIG, which is nearly 80% owned by the US government, is disposing of assets to repay taxpayers who committed $182.3 billion to prop up the insurer during the financial crisis.