May 16, 2016 / 5:37 PM / 2 years ago

Indonesia's Gunawan weighs sale of PT Asuransi stake to Fairfax -sources

JAKARTA/SINGAPORE, May 16 (Reuters) - Indonesia’s Gunawan family is weighing the sale of as much as an 80 percent stake in its general insurance business, PT Asuransi Multi Artha Guna , to Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings, sources familiar with the matter said.

The family is working with a Western investment bank on the deal, which could fetch a significant premium over the insurer’s current price-to-book multiple of around 1.2 times based on Thomson Reuters data, the sources said.

PT Asuransi’s market capitalization is $132 million.

The Indonesian company and Fairfax, led by Canadian investor Prem Watsa, did not respond to requests for comment. The sources asked not be identified because the discussion is not public.

The potential transaction is a sign of growing foreign interest in the general insurance market after a string of deals in the life insurance segment in Asia’s tenth biggest insurance market.

Fairfax is very active in both the insurance sector and in Asia. It owns partial or full stakes in about 22 insurance and reinsurance companies, according to its website. That includes PT Fairfax Insurance Indonesia, which was acquired about two years ago.

Bloomberg reported the news earlier on Monday. (With additional reporting by Matt Scuffham and John Tilak in Toronto; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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