Prudential split option remains after profit rise

 
Michael Bow
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PRUDENTIAL chief executive Tidjane Thiam yesterday said the firm would keep the option of breaking up the group on the table after its Asian and US divisions posted solid gains for the third quarter.

Thiam, who has previously hinted he wanted “optionality” over the four separate divisions of the group, said he would keep the door open for a possible break up of the business to get the best value for each bit.

“If a business can survive on its own, then it becomes an option to separate it from the group,” he said yesterday. “Now, I have to say in the same breath that it doesn’t mean that we aim to sell any part of the group.

“We just want to create that option, because we think that as the market gives us visibility and transparency on the group and how the profits and cash are generated, it will put a higher value on each of the businesses.” The business is currently made up of Asian, American, and a British life insurance company and a British fund manager M&G.

Yesterday it posted a 15 per cent increase in new business profits in Asia and a ten per cent increase in its US business.

If the Asian business were separated and sold at market value analysts have said Prudential should be targetting 1,355p a share. Yesterday its shares closed at 871p a share.