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Latest News
Prudential UK Aims To Double Asian Premiums
News From : DagangHalal.com (12/2/2010)

LONDON: The boss of Britain's biggest insurer Prudential Plc has outlined a plan to double Asian premiums by 2013, a move seen as bolstering his grip on the top job after a bungled takeover in the high-growth region.

Prudential, facing shareholder pressure after the failed multibillion-dollar attempt to buy AIA this year, also said it was targeting a doubling of last year's life insurance and asset management pre-tax profits by 2013.

This is a very positive statement and I think that Prudential can deliver, said Shore Capital analyst Eamonn Flanagan, who listened to the company's presentation.

Analysts said the ambitious targets would lessen calls for chief executive Tidjane Thiam and chairman Harvey McGrath to quit.

They were convincing and I think this should put an end to talk about the CEO or chairman quitting, Flanagan said.

Prudential was forced to pull its US$35.5bil bid for AIA the Asian life insurance business of stricken US insurer AIG in June after shareholders balked at the price.

The deal, pulled at the very last minute, left Prudential to pay 337mil in transaction fees. AIA was floated on the Hong Kong stock exchange in October.

Prudential's Asian business is seen as the jewel in the insurer's crown, generating almost half of group sales and still growing strongly thanks to its exposure to the dynamic economies of South-East Asia.

Broker Panmure Gordon said the aim to grow Asian profitability would help close the valuation gap between the implied valuation of Prudential's Asian operation and its competitors, including AIA.

The announcement is of stretching targets and reinforces the dividend paying capabilities along with adequate capital to grow the business, it said in a note.

- The Star Online

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