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Aviva to list in New York

INSURANCE giant Aviva has announced plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange as it embarks on a drive to raise its profile in the US.<br /><br />The company, the world&rsquo;s fifth-largest insurer by gross premiums, said it would begin trading on 20 October, just days after it said it would launch a partial initial public offering of its Dutch division Delta Lloyd.<br /><br />&ldquo;The US is a strategically important market for Aviva. It is the largest savings market in the world and represents a significant growth opportunity for us,&rdquo; said chief executive Andrew Moss.<br /><br />Analysts were not all convinced by the plans, with one saying:&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not quite sure why they are doing it. Sophisticated investors in the USknow how to get shares in the UK. I can&rsquo;t think of any UK companies that have benefited from dual-listing.&rdquo;<br /><br />But Duncan Hall at FinnCap said:&ldquo;It&rsquo;s all very much for the positive. Obviously there is a stream of news coming from the company to bolster its capital.&rdquo;<br /><br />Analyst Jean d&rsquo;Herbecourt at Cheuvreux was also positive on the move, predicting &pound;1.3bn in cash gains from the New York debut.<br /><br />Aviva said it would keep its primary listing in London and would not issue any new shares under the plans.<br /><br />&ldquo;Over 20 per cent of Aviva&rsquo;s shareholders are in the US and the listing gives Aviva further access to a wider potential shareholder base,&rdquo; the company said in a statement.<br /><br />The listing would also allow Aviva to &ldquo;capture growth in the retirement market, accelerate life insurance sales and benefit from the country&rsquo;s attractive demographics,&rdquo; it added.