Fallout: The Financial Crisis

AIG shedding parts to recoup billions

Scott Tong Feb 27, 2009
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Fallout: The Financial Crisis

AIG shedding parts to recoup billions

Scott Tong Feb 27, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: The government’s bailout of AIG — it’s not going so well. AIG reports fourth-quarter earnings on Monday, and the only question is how many tens of billions of dollars it lost. Meanwhile, the company is struggling to pay back some of the billions its borrowed from taxpayers. Marketplace’s Scott Tong reports from Shanghai that AIG is a global machine trying to sell off its parts.


Scott Tong: AIG is trying to sell its Asian life insurance division. It’s asking $20 billion. The company China Life is interested; as is Temasek, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore. AIG has a big footprint in Asia, in part because the company was born in Shanghai, circa 1919.

Tony Tong of China Everbright Research says AIG’s Asia slice is the crown jewel, especially the China part. It grows by 20 percent every year. So why would the firm unload its best cut of meat?

Tony Tong: They need money to pay the loans, the debts. They have to sell something that is available.

AIG owes Uncle Sam $60 billion In the last couple days, several potential bidders in Asia have bowed out. And if things get worse, there’s talk the U.S. government will split up the parent company.

In Shanghai, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

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