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Prudential's H1 profit gets Asia boost

London

BRITISH insurer Prudential on Wednesday posted a 14 per cent rise in half year operating profit, driven by robust growth in its Asian business, sending its shares higher.

Group operating profit from continuing operations, excluding its M&G Prudential unit, which Prudential said would be demerged in the fourth quarter, was £2.02 billion pounds (S$3.4 billion), thanks to a similar growth in profit from its core Asia market.

"The group's performance has again been driven by our Asian business, where we have delivered double-digit growth across our key metrics of operating profit," CEO Mike Wells said in a statement.

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"We are benefiting from growing demand for health, protection and savings across the region." New business profit in Asia rose 10 per cent over the six months to end-June, while assets under management at its Asia-focused fund unit Eastspring grew 12 per cent to £169.5 billion.

Prudential Plc said it was "carefully monitoring" the unrest in Hong Kong. REUTERS