Aviva eyes Asian expansion with Indonesian deal

BRITISH insurance giant Aviva is considering expanding its Asian business in partnership with a division of conglomerate Jardine Matheson, it was reported yesterday.

New chief executive Mark Wilson is in early stage talks with Indonesian automobile sales group Astra International about a potential tie-up, according to the Sunday Telegraph. This could then lead to similar deals across the region.

An Aviva spokesman declined to comment on the speculation.

However, it is understood that Aviva will not be making any announcement in the short term, ruling out the possibility that a deal could be unveiled at the insurer’s half-year results on 8 August.

The Asian insurance market is booming as a rapidly-growing middle class seeks protection for their newly-acquired goods and houses.

Some British insurers, such as Prudential, have successfully ridden this boom but Aviva has struggled and recently sold a number of underperforming units in the region.

Wilson is expected to use next week’s results to focus on his plan to grow Aviva in developed markets.