Credit Suisse buys Prudential shares ahead of Asian listing

CREDIT Suisse, Prudential’s lead adviser on its forthcoming takeover of Asian insurer AIA, has amassed a stake in the British company worth £106m in the past month.

The investment bank bought 15.9m shares in Prudential at the start of April, bringing its total holding to just over 18m. The numbers will fuel expectations that Prudential’s advisers will buy its stock in London and sell it in the Far East to create liquidity when the insurance giant gets a dual primary listing in Hong Kong.

Prudential is understood to want up to two per cent of its stock to be traded on the Hong Kong exchange before its $35.5bn (£23bn) swoop on AIA goes through. As well as enhancing its local presence, the listing will mean Far Eastern investors are able to participate in the jumbo $20bn rights issue needed to part-fund the deal.

Asian funds are said to be enthusiastic about buying into the Prudential story. The appearance of Chinese and Singaporean sovereign wealth funds on its shareholder register seems to confirm the idea.

Prudential may seek approval to list in Hong Kong tomorrow. It is understood its shares could begin trading there almost immediately if it receives the thumbs up.

Credit Suisse and Prudential declined to comment.