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2015-05-28

Ageas: Ageas and EastWest Bank establish a life insurance joint venture (JV) in the Philippines

The JV called "EastWest Ageas Life" will be a start-up company in which Ageas
and EastWest Bank will both have an equal shareholding of 50%1.It was
further agreed that EastWest Bank and EastWest Ageas Life will enter into a
20-year exclusive distribution agreement.

The ambition is to build the premier bancassurance business in the Philippines
offering tailor-made insurance solutions to the customers of EastWest Bank
supported by high quality service and state-of-art technology. The insurance
business will benefit from EastWest Bank's fast growing customer base. With
more than 400 branch stores, the bank has the 7th largest distribution
network amongst banks in the Philippines. Ageas will contribute its proven
bancassurance skills and best practices from its successful businesses in
Asia and Europe.

Tony C. Moncupa Jr., President and CEO of EastWest Bank commented:
"We have always viewed bancassurance as an integral part of our business
model. We see it as a necessary ingredient to have complete product offerings
for the financial services needs of our target market segments. Specifically,
the consumer and middle market corporate segments. We are pleased to partner
with Ageas, one of the major insurance providers in the world. In Ageas, we
are comfortable that we have a common set of objectives and aligned
philosophy on how to best serve our customers. For us in EastWest Bank,
alignment is most important and it is the reason why we both agreed to enter
into a JV and a long-term exclusive distribution agreement for the JV's life
insurance products. We are confident this partnership will help EastWest Bank
to continue to be among the fastest growing banks in the country."

Gary Crist, CEO of Ageas Asia commented:
"As part of our Asia strategy, we have made no secret that we wish to enter
the Philippines as the insurance market is highly attractive with a
population of around 100 million people, a fast growing middle class and low
insurance penetration. The potential is huge given that the current Life
insurance penetration rate of around 1.5% is one of the lowest in Asia. We
are very pleased to be a partner to EastWest Bank which has a strong
management and clear ambition to grow. We are convinced that together we can
deliver another successful partnership in Asia."

Under the agreement, Ageas will contribute capital and funding in the initial
12 months for an estimated amount of USD 65 million or EUR 60 million (PHP
2,910 million)2. The initial capital injection amounts to USD 45 million or
EUR 41 million (PHP 2,010 million) which is double the minimum regulatory
capital required. Future funding will be dependent on the performance of the
business.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to be completed
in the second half of the year and EastWest Ageas Life is expected to
commence operations in 2015.

1Actual shareholding structure: Ageas holds 50% plus one share and EastWest
Bank holds 50% minus one share.

2In local currency the initial capital and funding amounts to PHP 2,910
million and is converted to USD at an exchange rate of 0.0224 and to EUR at
a rate of 0.0205 (Exchange rates of 26 May 2015).

EastWest Banking Corporation
is one of the fastest growing universal banks and is ranked among the top 10
privately owned local banks in the Philippines. It is a subsidiary of the
Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC), one of the largest and well
established business conglomerates in the Philippines. FDC, established in
1955, is identified with the Gotianun family and aside from banking, its
business interests include real estate, sugar, hospitality&tourism, and power
generation.

Ageas
is an international insurance group with a heritage spanning 190 years. Ranked
among the top 20 insurance companies in Europe, Ageas has chosen to
concentrate its business activities in Europe and Asia, which together make
up the largest share of the global insurance market. These are grouped around
four segments: Belgium, United Kingdom, Continental Europe and Asia and
served through a combination of wholly owned subsidiaries and partnerships
with strong financial institutions and key distributors around the world.
Ageas operates successful partnerships in Belgium, the UK, Luxembourg, Italy,
Portugal, Turkey, China, Malaysia, India and Thailand and has subsidiaries in
France, Hong Kong and the UK. Ageas is the market leader in Belgium for
individual life and employee benefits, as well as a leading Non-Life player
through AG Insurance. In the UK, Ageas is the sixth largest Non-Life insurer
with a number 3 position in cars insured and has a strong presence in the
over 50's market. Ageas employs more than 13,000 people in the consolidated
entities and over 30,000 in the non-consolidated partnerships, and has annual
inflows of more than EUR 25 billion.

Pdf version of the press release
http://hugin.info/134212/R/1924459/690318.pdf

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This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Ageas via Globenewswire

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