Following speculation, British insurer Aviva has announced it will retain its businesses in both China and Singapore.
After a review of options for the Singapore business, which included seeking offers, Aviva decided the best value for shareholders would be to keep the arm.
Its joint venture in China will also remain. This was attributed to the scale of the market, an excellent relationship with its partner COFCO and high growth prospects.
Aviva in China and Singapore both returned double digit operating profit growth in 2018. In addition, they expected to return similarly in 2019.
However, Aviva is continuing to explore strategic options for Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Indonesia with its respective partners.
Canada-based Sun Life Financial as well as Manulife Financial were also in the fray. These firms battled with nearly half a dozen bidders competing for the businesses; Reuters reported quoting sources familiar with the development.
Due to faster economic growth and low insurance penetration, Asia is attracting a number of insurers. According to a Swiss Re Institute report, the regional Asian market is valued at $1.7trn in premiums. By 2029, the region will contribute for 42% of premiums across the globe.
The combined value for the Singaporean and Vietnamese businesses is expected to be between $2bn and $2.5bn, the sources told the publication. However, they added that the negotiation is at an early stage and terms might change.
Furthermore, in August 2019, Bloomberg reported that HSBC was mulling to bid for the Asian insurance business of Aviva, which according to media reports is up for sale.
In June, the insurer said that it will cut around 1,800 jobs over the next three years as part of restructuring of UK operations, aiming to save $362.82m in operational expenses per annum.
In May, Aviva was reportedly planning a demerger to split its insurance business in the UK to make it more agile, competitive and customer-focused.