Aviva re-enters Asian markets after five years in the wilderness

AVIVA, Britain’s second largest insurer, will re-enter the Asian general insurance market five years after selling its non-life operations in the region.

It is understood Aviva is preparing to announce its decision imminently, and could issue a statement today.

The company said it would have made the move sooner but that a non-compete agreement, following the £249m sale of its general insurance business to Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance in 2004, had prevented it from doing so. The non-compete agreement expired earlier this year.

European and US insurers are keen to expand their presence in Asia, seen as one of the world's fastest-growing financial services markets, thanks to fast rising household incomes on the back of strong economic growth.