UPDATE 1-Metlife, AIA place final bids for Citi bank distribution deal-sources
* Deal includes $1.5-2 bln in exclusivity payment
* Citigroup has 34 mln retail accounts in Asia
* Bancassurance sales have much room to grow in Asia
By Denny Thomas
HONG KONG, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Five insurers including Metlife Inc and AIA Group Ltd have submitted final bids to have their products distributed by Citigroup in Asia, a deal estimated to generate more than $10 billion in revenue over 15 years, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
British insurer Prudential Plc, Canada's Manulife Financial Corp and Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li's insurance company FWD Group are the other companies that have submitted final bids, they said.
Global insurers are increasingly relying on bank distribution to ramp up insurance sales in Asia, where rises in personal incomes for many countries have enabled individuals and families to afford insurance.
If successful, the Citigroup deal would be Asia's second-biggest bancassurance deal behind Prudential Plc's agreement with Standard Chartered Plc, people familiar with the matter said.
There will most likely be just one successful bidder, although there is an outside chance that Citigroup may pick two given that the deal covers 14 Asian markets, one person said. Continued...