(Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s RHB Bank Bhd. is asking financial advisers for proposals for its partnership to sell insurance in its branches, as its deal with an arm of Japan’s Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. is set to expire at the end of next year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The so-called bancassurance partnership with Tokio Marine Life Insurance Malaysia Bhd., whose parent has kicked off a process to sell its life insurance business in Southeast Asia, includes both conventional and Islamic life insurance, the people said. A deal could be worth more than 1 billion ringgit ($213 million), the people said, asking not to be identified as the process is private. 

Tokio Marine Holdings’ Southeast Asia life business could be valued at about $1 billion in a deal, and bidding has attracted potential suitors including Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. and Nippon Life Insurance Co., Bloomberg News reported earlier this year.

Deliberations are ongoing and RHB could still sign a new pact with Tokio Marine ahead of the expiry, the people said. A Tokio Marine spokesman said nothing has been decided at the moment, while an RHB Bank representative said the company will make an announcement in due course. Both declined to comment further. 

The Kuala Lumpur-based lender signed a 10-year bancassurance agreement with Tokio Marine that started on Jan. 1, 2015, requiring RHB Bank to exclusively sell, distribute, market and promote Tokio Marine’s conventional life insurance products, according to a stock exchange filing. That agreement superseded their earlier 10-year distribution pact signed in 2010, the filing showed.

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Malaysia generated 1.69 billion ringgit worth of gross premium revenue in 2022, and had 10 billion ringgit of assets as of Dec. 31, 2022, according to its website.

--With assistance from Taiga Uranaka.

(Updates with Tokio Marine’s Malaysia unit premiums in last paragraph.)

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