Prudential sets aggressive Asia growth targets

Kate McCann
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PRUDENTIAL set out ambitious targets for growth in Asia yesterday, boosting investor confidence and sending its shares higher.

The insurer told a shareholder conference it will target 15 per cent compound annual profit growth in its Asian life and asset management markets between 2010 and 2017. In addition, it is aiming to achieve £10bn of cumulative group underlying surplus generation between 2014 and 2017.

The targets are a renewed commitment to growth and cash objectives the group set out in 2010. It has already met five of those six targets and will achieve the last, doubling Asia new business profits, by the end of this year.

Tidjane Thiam, group chief executive, welcomed the news, adding it was evidence that Prudential can grow and generate cash despite the difficult financial climate.

“Our strategy is unchanged. The fundamental drivers of our long-term success in Asia remain intact. Our exposure to fast-growing sweet-spot markets, increasing demand for savings and protection products from a rapidly emerging and increasingly wealthy middle class, and our track record of execution underpin our two new 2017 objectives in Asia,” he said.

The group is aiming to replicate the success of its Asian venture, which it began investing in during the early 1990s, by branching out into new emerging markets. It has already invested in Cambodia, Myanmar, Poland and Ghana, and is currently exploring investment in Saudi Arabia.