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UPDATE 1-AIA to close IPO institutional books early-source

Mon, 18th Oct 2010 05:26

HONG KONG, Oct 18 (Reuters) - American International Group Inc is set to c
lose the institutional book for the AIA IPO on Tuesday, two days ahead of schedule due to strong demand, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

AIG aims to raise up to $20.5 billion by selling more than half its stake in its Asian life insurance unit through a stock market float in Hong Kong.

Large Chinese institutions, dependable investors in China-related IPOs, are among those lining up for the offering.

Sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp, China Life and Ping An Insurance are expected to take stakes in the IPO, the same source said on Monday.

The source declined to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

News of the institutional demand came on the opening day of AIA's retail offering, where the public is able to register for shares before the stock debuts.

As of late morning on Monday, there did not appear to be long lines outside local bank branches where AIA IPO forms are on offer. A rush to branches can provide an early indication of strong retail demand.

Online media in Hong Kong on Monday reported that banks are offering record low interest rates for margin loans to invest in the AIA IPO.

(Reporting by Denny Thomas and Donny Kwok)

(Editing by Michael Flaherty and Dhara Ranasinghe) Keywords: AIA INVESTORS/ . Keywords: AIA INVESTORS/

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