UPDATE 1-Taiwan "saviour" says lining up AIG unit bid

* Former diplomat seeks to keep unit out of Chinese hands

* Says Japanese, Qatari money may fund any bid

* AIG says committed to original deal
(Recasts with comment from potential investor, companies)

TAIPEI, Aug 30 (BestGrowthStock) – A former Taiwanese diplomat who
says he wants to “save” American International Group’s (AIG.N: )
Taiwan unit from being bought by a Chinese firm is lining up a
$2.5 billion bid with Japanese and Middle Eastern money.

Wang Shih-jung, a 71-year old policyholder of AIG’s Nan
Shan unit and a former trade representative for Taiwan in
Switzerland, told Reuters he has set up a company to make a bid
if an existing $2.2 billion bid from a China-based firm is
rejected by Taiwan regulators.

“Our stepping out is the only way for AIG to fix this
difficult problem, to help the Taiwan government resolve this
tough issue and to prevent the two Hong Kong vultures from
taking over Nan Shan,” Wang said in a telephone interview.

AIG’s $2.2 billion sale of Nan Shan to battery maker China
Strategic (0235.HK: ) and Hong Kong investment fund Primus has
stalled since October amid concern the buyers are backed by
mainland Chinese money and lack both experience in the
insurance business and the ability to raise funds for future
operations.

Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission has started a
final review of the bid and could make a decision as soon as
next month.

The possible involvement of former political foe China in
particular has stirred controversy in Taiwan, where Nan Shan
insures almost one-sixth of the self-ruled island’s population.
Politicians, labour unions and some policyholders have voiced
strong opposition to the deal.

Wang said $900 million of the bid cost would come from
Japanese investors, $1.25 billion from a Qatari fund and the
rest from Taiwanese banks.

The names of the investors would be disclosed when the
funding is finalised, but Wang said they included a venture
capital firm related to Dai-ichi Mutual Life (8750.T: ), Japan’s
No.2 life insurer, and a Tokyo-based firm called Firix
Partners.

AIG said in an emailed statement via its Taiwan public
relations firm that it “does not comment on rumour or
speculation, and we are committed to closing signed sale
agreement with Primus Financial/CSH and remain confident that
the transaction, based on its merits, will be approved.”

It has previously said it would not entertain any other
bids.

Dai-ichi Mutual was not immediately available for comment.

“We’ve talked to AIG several times,” Wang said. “We told
them we could get the money ready and deliver it the day after
if regulators reject the China Strategic bid.”

Taiwanese bank Chinatrust Holdings (2891.TW: ) has also said
it would bid for Nan Shan if the current deal fell through.
(Reporting by Rachel Lee and Faith Hung in Taipei and Junko
Fujita in Tokyo; writing by Jonathan Standing; Editing by Ken
Wills and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

UPDATE 1-Taiwan "saviour" says lining up AIG unit bid