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Banks in Asia have been negotiating partnerships as demand for insurance products rises among the region’s increasingly wealthy population. (Photo: iStock)

(Bloomberg) – Allianz SE, Europe’s biggest insurer, and France’s Axa SA were among first-round bidders for the rights to distribute general insurance products through Standard Chartered Plc outlets in Asia, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

A unit of MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc., the $18 billion Japanese group, also submitted an offer for exclusive access to the U.K. lender’s regional banking network, the people said. Standard Chartered is seeking about $400 million in a deal it aims to complete by year-end, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private. The so-called bancassurance agreement would grant distribution rights for 15 years, they said.

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