Australian life insurer National Mutual Holdings is considering taking a small stake in an Asian life insurer for an investment of significantly less than A$100 million (about HK$454.7 million). National Mutual's group managing director Geoff Tomlinson in Sydney yesterday said the group would consider an acquisition in an Asian country with a relatively strong economy and stable political system. 'We definitely will not be spending anything like $100 million,' Mr Tomlinson said. 'We're not talking about a mega-acquisition.' National Mutual Holdings is the Asia-Pacific operating arm of French insurer AXA Group - the world's largest insurer - which holds a 51 per cent stake. AXA chairman Claude Bebear recently said the company was looking for takeover opportunities in Asia, as asset prices had fallen to more attractive levels. Mr Bebear said AXA was particularly interested in investing in Korea and Japan. National Mutual Holdings is the parent of Hong Kong-listed National Mutual Asia. National Mutual Asia general manger John Snelgrove said the takeover plans of National Mutual Holdings would have no effect on the operations of the Hong Kong insurer. National Mutual Asia was responsible for the group's insurance operations in greater China - Hong Kong, the mainland, Taiwan and Macau - while National Mutual Holdings was directly managing business in the rest of Asia, he said. 'If the takeover is in the greater China region, National Mutual Asia would take care of the business,' Mr Snelgrove said. 'However, there are not many takeover opportunities in the greater China region.'