BNP Paribas’s insurance arm is in talks to buy a significant minority stake in Bank Rakyat Indonesia’s life insurer, reported Bloomberg quoting people familiar with the matter.
BNP Paribas Cardif submitted the highest bid for a stake in Asuransi BRI Life, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Other bidders, including Hong Kong’s FWD Group, remain interested in acquiring the share, the people said.
Bank Rakyat Indonesia, the country’s oldest lender, had revived earlier this year its plan to sell a stake in its life insurance unit for about $500m, Bloomberg News reported in March. A transaction would involve a bancassurance partnership.
An agreement could be reached within the next few weeks, the people said. The companies could also decide against pursuing a transaction, they said.
Representatives for Cardif and FWD declined to comment, while a representative for Bank Rakyat Indonesia said the bank is still studying the matter internally.
This would be at least the third attempt by state-owned Bank Rakyat to sell a stake in the insurer. The lender tried to dispose a 40% stake in BRI Life in 2015. At that time, FWD and BNP Paribas Cardif were already among parties vying for the holding, Bloomberg News had reported. In 2018, Morgan Stanley was hired to advise on the sale only to see the process put on ice again last year.