China Construction Bank Corp is buying a unit of financial conglomerate American International Group for US$70 million, its first acquisition outside the mainland in about three years. The deal, being conducted by China Construction Bank (Asia) Corp, a wholly owned subsidiary of the world's third-largest bank by market value, also involves repayment of loans and deposits totalling US$557 million to take over AIG Finance (Hong Kong). The transaction is expected to be completed in October, subject to approval from the regulatory authorities, the two parties said. AIG is offloading assets to repay the US$182 billion bailout loan it received from the United States government in September last year. It is also in the process of spinning off its Asian insurance subsidiary, American International Assurance. AIG Finance operates as a restricted licence bank offering financial services including time deposits, mortgages, private car loans, premium financing, personal loans, credit cards and other credit facilities. As of the end of June, it had more than 500,000 customers, with total net loan receivables of HK$4.8 billion and a retail deposits balance of HK$1 billion, according to a statement from AIG. The combined loans of AIG Finance and CCB (Asia) are expected to total about HK$50 billion. Charles Ma, president and chief executive at CCB (Asia), said the acquisition would help its growth, bring diversification to its consumer loan portfolio and serve as a platform for building its credit card business. China Construction Bank's last acquisition was in August 2006 when it bought Bank of America Corp's Hong Kong and Macau unit for US$1.25 billion. Over the years, CCB (Asia) had increased its branches from 17 to the current 40, including premier select centres. As of June, its total assets had grown 65 per cent from December 2006 as advances to customers jumped 67 per cent and deposits from customers surged 57 per cent. China Construction Bank shares fell 4.17 per cent to 5.75 yuan (HK$6.52) in Shanghai yesterday, while they were down 1.49 per cent at HK$5.95 in Hong Kong.