UK insurer Prudential sees profit boost from Asia

LONDON: Prudential, Britain’s largest insurer, said new business profit from its life insurance operations rose 17 per cent in the first nine months of the year, driven by another robust performance in Asia.
After a tough year for many asset managers, however, Prudential said its two fund management units, M&G Investments and Asia-focused Eastspring, had both posted net outflows of external client money.
“A key positive in Prudential’s trading update is a move up in Asian volume growth,” said KBW analyst Greig Paterson in a note to clients, flagging an ‘outperform’ rating and 2,100 pence price target, although he called the outflows “disappointing”. The life insurer, which has a market value of around £42 billion ($54.60 billion), is in the process of demerging that will see the UK and European insurance and asset management units of the 170-year-old company split off into a separate company.
Once the new company, M&G Prudential, lists in London, the remaining international operations will refocus on faster-growing markets in Asia — particularly China — as well as the less tightly regulated US market. The planned demerger is on track, Prudential said in the business performance update ahead of an investor day event in Singapore. — Reuters