UPDATE 1-AIG Taiwan deal could face further delay-regulator

* Deal could be delayed beyond May deadline

* Main buyer China Strategic yet to give requested paperwork

* China Strategic shares fall, trailing Hang Seng Index
(Adds Chinatrust comment, share prices)

By Faith Hung

TAIPEI, April 30 (BestGrowthStock) – AIG’s (AIG.N: ) stalled $2.2
billion sale of its Taiwan unit Nan Shan Life could face further
delays as the buyers, led by China Strategic (0235.HK: ), have yet
to provide some requested information, a top Taiwan regulator
said on Friday.

American International Group has been unable to seal the deal
it agreed in October, amid concern in Taiwan that the buyers —
battery maker China Strategic and Hong Kong-based investment fund
Primus Financial, have received backing from mainland China and
do not have a background in running an insurance business.

The Investment Commission was originally scheduled to make a
decision on the deal in mid-May, after input from financial
services regulator the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).

“There is a lot of paperwork they have not been able to
sufficiently provide. It will be tough to make a decision,” said
Fan Liang-tung, executive secretary of the commission, which
oversees inbound investment and which will have the final say.

The companies have a deadline of mid-June by which to
complete the transaction for Taiwan’s third-largest life insurer,
which AIG is selling up as it restructures at home.

The application was first turned down in January and then
resubmitted. Taiwan’s parliament also discussed the deal in March
in a sign of its sensitivity.

“The FSC has just asked China Strategic this week to submit
documents for a second time, and the FSC still has lots of
questions unanswered,” Fang told Reuters.

AIG and Primus were not immediately available for comment.

A source with direct knowledge of the matter said the issues
of concern also included the buyers’ ability to raise money for
future business needs.

“Among the issues that concern the FSC most are China
Strategic’s ability to manage Nan Shan for the long term and its
future ability to raise money,” said the source, who declined to
be identified amid the sensitive nature of the sale.

“China Strategic is a small company. Although it has raised
money recently, what about for the short term or the long term?”
the source said. “It is only two weeks from mid-May. It will be a
big rush for them to get everything ready for the FSC to review.”

China Strategic is to take 80 percent of Nan Shan under the
deal, and then sell 30 percent of Nan Shan to Taiwan firm
Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (2891.TW: ). Primus would take 20
percent of Nan Shan.

Chinatrust, the island’s top credit card issuer, was watching
to see if the deal received a green light, it said separately on
Friday.

“If approved by the FSC, we’ll stick to our plan to buy the
Nan Shan stake,” Chinatrust chief financial officer Hsu
Miao-ching told reporters. “If not, we will see what AIG will do
next. Our strategy to diversify into insurance will not change.”

By around 0700 GMT, shares of China Strategic were down 1.7
percent in Hong Kong, trailing the Hang Seng Index’s (.HSI: ) 1.4
percent gain. Chinatrust beat a 0.62 percent fall in Taiwan’s
broader market (.TWII: ) with a 1.1 percent gain.

Stock Market Trading

UPDATE 1-AIG Taiwan deal could face further delay-regulator