May 16, 2016 / 8:42 PM / a year ago

Activist investor Icahn raises stake in AIG by 5.2 percent

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Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network's Neil Cavuto show in New York February 11, 2014.Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Activist investor Carl Icahn has raised his stake in American International Group Inc (AIG.N) by 5.2 percent, putting him in a better position to pressure the insurer to split into three independent companies.

Icahn now owns 44.4 million shares in AIG, a regulatory filing showed on Monday, bringing his stake in the biggest U.S. commercial insurer by premiums to about 4 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Tensions have been mounting between AIG Chief Executive Peter Hancock and Icahn over the billionaire's suggestion in October that the company should break up - an idea Hancock promptly rebuffed.

Icahn had argued that a split would help AIG rid itself of the regulatory burden of being a systemically important financial institution, which requires higher capital cushions.

In February, the insurer agreed to add Samuel Merksamer, a managing director at Icahn Capital LP, to its board.

Reporting by Richa Naidu; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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