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AXA considers acquiring Itau insurance assets

France-based global insurance company Axa has reportedly expressed interest to acquire insurance assets put up for sale by Brazilian bank Itau Unibanco, chief executive Henri de Castries has said.

With the proposed takeover, the French insurance group aims to bolster its presence in the country, reported Reuters.

In January, Itau said that its high-risk corporate insurance unit, which specializes in segments including oil and gas, and infrastructure, has been put for sale.

At that time, its price has been estimated at approximately BRL1bn ($424m).

The division earns BRL1.7bn in annual revenues and serves clients such as state-oil company Petróleo Brasileiro.

Due to low interest rates in the US and in the European Union, AXA has divested some of its businesses in developed markets and spent €5bn ($6.8bn) since 2010 on acquiring companies in countries such as China and Colombia.

In February, AXA revealed that it was planning for more acquisitions in emerging markets.