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Customers crowd AIG subsidiary in Singapore

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  • Hundreds queue outside AIG subsidiary in Singapore following news of U.S. bailout
  • U.S. Fed announces $85 billion loan to one of world's largest insurers
  • Singapore offices try to ease worries of policyholders
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SINGAPORE (CNN) -- Hundreds of customers flocked to the Singapore office of troubled insurer American International Group Inc. (AIG) on Wednesday, many hoping to pull their investments and policies from the company.

People in Singapore queue outside the office of  AIA, a subsidiary of AIG.

People in Singapore queue outside the office of AIA, a subsidiary of AIG.

The crowd formed just hours after the U.S. Federal Reserve Board authorized the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to lend $85 billion to a crumbling AIG. In return, the federal government will receive a nearly 80 percent stake in the company.

One person who lined up in Singapore, retired teacher Wong Yoke Inn, said she was going to pull her investments from AIA even though it would cost her about $3,000 -- the equivalent of about $2,000 in the United States.

She joined an orderly crowd whose members were each given a number and a time to return to meet with a representative of AIA Singapore -- AIG's division in the island nation.

AIA tried to allay investors concerns in a statement distributed outside the Singapore office and posted on the company's Web site.

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"AIA Singapore has more than sufficient capital and reserves ... to meet our obligations to policyholders," the statement said.

"The funds maintained in Singapore are segregated from American International Group, Inc. (AIG) and are held specifically for the purpose of meeting our obligations to policyholders."

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The U.S. government announced Tuesday night that it would act to save America's largest insurer from filing for bankruptcy. Such a move almost certainly would have further roiled world markets already reeling from the bankruptcy filling of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America.

AIG has $1.1 trillion in assets and 74 million clients in 130 countries.

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