Monday 18 November 2019 2:22 pm

Aviva shares fall as it denies reports it is selling its Singapore and China businesses

Shares in insurer Aviva fell 4.5 per cent today after it said it was not planning on selling its business in Singapore or exiting its joint venture in China.

Aviva made the announcement in response to reports it was mulling a disposal of the two businesses.

Read more: Aviva CFO to leave in latest leadership shake-up

“Aviva’s Singapore and China business units delivered double digit operating profit growth in 2018 and are earning attractive returns. Both countries are expected to pay dividends to group centre in 2019,” it said.

The insurer confirmed it was examining the future of its operations in troubled Asian financial hub Hong Kong, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Aviva shares fell 4.5 per cent to 414p.

The company has an investor day on Wednesday where new chief executive Maurice Tulloch is expected to outline plans to streamline the business.

Read more: New Aviva CEO shakes up leadership team to boost ‘commercial thinking’

Tulloch took over the top job at Aviva in March and kicked off a review of its Asian operations.

Reuters reported in September that Aviva was hoping to sell the Singapore and Vietnam businesses for up to $2.5bn (£1.9bn).

Bloomberg reported earlier today that Japan’s MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings and Canada’s Manulife Financial were interested in buying Aviva’s assets in Singapore and Vietnam.

The lack of a sale would make it harder for Aviva to pay down debt or return capital to shareholders, which would likely be “disappointing for investors,” said Shore Capital analysts.