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Aviva keeps its China, Singapore businesses after Asian review

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Aviva Plc said it will retain its Chinese joint venture as well as assets in Singapore, while continuing to explore options for some other businesses in Asia.

[LONDON] Aviva Plc said it will retain its Chinese joint venture as well as assets in Singapore, while continuing to explore options for some other businesses in Asia.

"Aviva's Singapore and China business units delivered double digit operating profit growth in 2018 and are earning attractive returns," according to a statement on Monday. "Both countries are expected to pay dividends to group center in 2019."

The London-based insurer conducted a "thorough review" of its options in Singapore, including seeking offers for the business, the statement said. Its joint venture in China was retained because of its "high growth prospects" and the scale of the Chinese market.

Aviva's shares fell as much as 3.7 per cent in London following the statement.

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Aviva said in August it was reviewing its Asian businesses as part of Chief Executive Officer Maurice Tulloch's turnaround plan. Firms including Japan's MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. and Canada's Manulife Financial Corp were vying to buy the company's assets in Singapore and Vietnam, according to people with knowledge of the matter. While Aviva was seeking about US$3 billion from the two assets combined, the valuation could come slightly lower, the people said.

The company is continuing to explore "strategic" options for its Vietnam business, as well as its operations in Hong Kong and Indonesia, according to Monday's statement.

 

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