Prudential Financial Inc
The Korea Economic Daily said small local insurer Korea Life Insurance Co Ltd <088350.KS> was also looking into a takeover bid for all of ING's Asian insurance assets, citing unnamed industry sources.
Korea Life, which is already vying with Prudential for local peer Tong Yang Life Insurance Co Ltd <082640.KS>, said earlier this month that it was reviewing the feasibility of bidding for ING's Asia-Pacific insurance operations.
Investment banks are competing hard for a role in the deal and a cut of an estimated $60 million in combined deal fees, according to consultancy Freeman & Co.
ING, which announced a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, may divest some of its Asian insurance or investment management operations separately, but such operations would be small, ING Chief Executive Jan Hommen said earlier.
AIA Group Ltd <1299.HK> was expected to name Deutsche Bank AG
The Korean office of Prudential declined to comment.
(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Chris Lewis)