American International Group Inc. filed an application with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to list its Asian life insurance unit, AIA Group Ltd., a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
The application brings bailed-out AIG a step closer to AIA's initial public offering, which is expected to raise about $15 billion. The move is also a key part of AIG's restructuring.
The Hong Kong Exchange will review the application, also known as the A1 filing, in the coming weeks, though the source was not aware of any firm dates for the review.
AIG, which is nearly 80 percent owned by the U.S. government, is disposing of assets to repay taxpayers who committed $182.3 billion to prop up the insurer during the financial crisis.
The AIA IPO, which sources have said AIG is aiming to do by November, comes after AIG tried to unsuccessfully sell the business earlier this year to Britain's Prudential PLC for $35.5 billion.
An AIA spokeswoman declined to comment, while Hong Kong Exchange officials could not be reached for comment outside business hours. The source was not authorized to talk about the matter publicly.
AIG's shares were up 0.6 percent at $35.88 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
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