By Yantoultra Ngui and Kane Wu
SINGAPORE/HONG KONG, June 8 (Reuters) - Japanese insurer Tokio Marine Holdings has picked Goldman Sachs and Jefferies to work on the sale of its Southeast Asia life insurance business worth $1 billion, two sources with knowledge of the transaction said.
The Tokyo-listed company is preparing to launch a sale process within the next two months, according to one of the sources, declining to be identified as the matter is private.
A sale could include Tokio Marine's life insurance businesses in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, said the other source.
The sale plan is still under discussion and has not been finalized, the first source cautioned.
Tokio Marine, Goldman Sachs and Jefferies declined to comment.
The sale plan comes as Tokio Marine reviews its businesses to boost profitability. The Tokyo-headquartered insurer has been active in the merger and acquisition space, with deals including the sale of its Tokio Marine Highland's U.S. construction division to Intact Insurance Group last year.
The company is also looking to grow organically. It expanded in Canada with the launch of a new property and casualty insurance unit last year.
Founded in 1879, Tokio Marine was Japan's first non-life insurance company and it started expanding overseas through direct underwriting operations in London, Paris and New York a year later, according to its website.
It now provides non-life and life insurance across 46 countries besides Japan. International businesses contributed 54% of its profits, its website shows.
Shares of Tokio Marine have climbed 12.6% year-to-date, giving it a market value of $45.5 billion as of Thursday, according to Refinitiv data.