RSA sells off Chinese arm Sun Alliance Insurance as part of overhaul

Kate McCann
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Stephen Hester, chief executive os RSA, has been tasked with turning around the company
Insurer RSA yesterday announced it was selling off its Chinese arm as part of boss Stephen Hester’s overhaul of the company.

RSA sold Sun Alliance Insurance, its main business in China, to reinsurance giant Swiss Re Corporate Solutions for £71m.

The unit generated £14m in net written premiums last year, the FTSE 100 firm said.

Hester said the deal “builds on the momentum of our recently announced disposals in the Baltics, Poland and Canada, and represents continued progress against our aim of tightening the strategic focus of the group”.

“We are continuing to evaluate further non-core disposals, some of which we expect to agree during 2014,” he added in a statement yesterday.

Swiss Re said at an investor day yesterday that the acquisition will allow it to sell corporate insurance directly from mainland China for the first time.

The transaction is set to result in a gain for RSA, and an addition to the net assets of the group of around £26m.

The disposal is the latest in a string of similar deals, as RSA seeks to recover from a tricky financial period at the end of last year, caused by extreme weather and accounting irregularities at its Irish division.

Former RBS chief executive Hester joined the group in February, taking over from Martin Scicluna, the insurer’s chairman, who had stepped into the role temporarily.

Shares in RSA were up 0.65 per cent to close on 477.3p yesterday.

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