American International Group Inc is near a deal to sell its Japanese headquarters for about $1 billion in what would be one of its largest asset sales since a September rescue, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

A Japanese insurance company is expected to buy the prized building in the Otemachi section of Tokyo, although at least two parties were looking at the property, the source said.

A deal for the building, which overlooks the Imperial Palace, is expected to be announced later this week, the source said.

AIG declined to comment on the news, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The source did not want to be identified because the deal has not been announced yet.

The price for the building is in line with what was expected when it was put on the market in February.

Merrill Lynch is running the auction for the Tokyo building.

The sale is part of a larger divestiture program by the insurer, as it looks to sell real estate and other assets to pay back the U.S. government. The government has committed some $180 billion in AIG's rescue, including about $80 billion in loans that the insurer is trying to repay with these divestitures.

The insurer said in March it was also weighing the sale of its headquarters in New York.

In April, it announced the sale of its U.S. auto insurance business to Zurich Financial Services for $1.9 billion, marking its largest asset sale since its rescue.

AIG Chief Executive Edward Liddy told Reuters in late April that the company was also reviewing second-round bids for an asset management business and an aircraft lessor.

Together, sales of those businesses are expected to bring in more than $5 billion. In all, AIG has reached deals for a dozen businesses, raising more than $4 billion.

AIG's shares were up 3 cents at $1.41 during morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Additional reporting by Jennifer Robin Raj in Bangalore, editing by Muralikumar Anatharaman, Dave Zimmerman)

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