Aviva sells Taiwan branch for $1

United Kingdom insurer Aviva said today its decision to sell its 49 per cent stake in a Taiwan joint venture to its partner First Financial Holding conformed to its strategy of withdrawing from less profitable markets.

The sale enables Aviva to withdraw its capital from the business, following low returns after the financial crisis, she added.

Aviva said in a statement that the decision came following a review which found the business did not fit with the group's aim of focusing on markets where it could achieve scale or have a distinct competitive advantage.

Aviva said that the business isn't central to its strategy.

The insurer also said that the transaction, which is expected to be completed in 2018, has a negligible impact on its net assets, solvency II capital position-a key metric of financial stability for insurers-and operating profit.

Aviva previously looked at exiting Taiwan in 2010 and 2012, but opted not to in the face of opposition from regulators. The group also recently disclosed that it had sold its shareholding in an Italian joint venture to Banco BPM, having also recently wrapped up the sale of parts of its Spanish business.

As of 08:51 BST, Aviva's share price had lost 0.18 percent to 499.10p, slightly outperforming the broader United Kingdom market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index now standing 0.38 percent lower at 7,527.71 points.

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