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Chinatrust, Fubon, Ruentex Bid for AIG’s Taiwan Unit

Chinatrust Financial Holdings Co., Ruentex Group, Fubon Financial Holding Co. and Cathay Financial Holding Co. submitted bids for American International Group Inc.’s Taiwan unit as the U.S. insurer tries for a second time to sell the division.

Chinatrust submitted a bid after its board approved the offer today, spokesman Vanney Cho said in a phone interview without giving details. Fubon Financial also made an offer, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter who declined to be identified.

Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission on Aug. 31 rejected an application by a group led by Primus Financial Holdings Ltd. and China Strategic Holdings Ltd. to buy AIG’s Nan Shan Life Insurance Co. for $2.15 billion, citing concerns over the bidders’ financial capability and long-term commitment to operate the business. AIG has been trying for more than a year to complete what’s expected to be its second-biggest disposal since a September 2008 U.S. government bailout.

Ruentex Development Co. and Ruentex Industries Ltd. said a unit they control had made a bid for Nan Shan, according to separate statements to the Taiwan stock exchange today. Ruentex Group’s businesses span retail, textiles and property development. Ruentex Industries owns a stake in RT-Mart China, the country’s largest hypermarket chain by retail sales.

Cathay Financial, the island’s largest listed financial services company, put in a bid today, according to an exchange statement.

Amanda Chou, a spokeswoman for Nan Shan, said AIG declined to comment, as did Wu Wen-wen, a communications manager for Fubon.

AIG said Nov. 5 it expects to complete the sale of Nan Shan within a year. Nan Shan, based in Taipei, was set up in July 1963 and was bought by American International Underwriters Ltd., the property and general insurance unit of AIG, in January 1970, according to Nan Shan’s website. The company has four million policyholders.

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