Aviva is set to sell its stake in Singapore Life Holdings for a total of £800m, as it continues to streamline the business and cut operations around the world.
The insurer said this morning it intends to offload its 25.9 per cent holding in the Singaporean insurance group to Japanese insurers Sumitomo Life, who will pay £500m for the stake and £300m for two additional debt instruments.
Shares were up 3 per cent following the announcement.
Amanda Blanc, chief exec of Aviva, said the transaction “further simplifies the business,” adding that it is “in a very strong position to build on our trading momentum in the UK, Ireland and Canada.”
Since she took the role three years ago, Blanc has looked to trim the insurer’s overseas exposure, while focussing on its three core markets.
Her turnaround plan has hit turbulence this year, as the UK general insurance market suffers from soaring inflation, with Aviva suffering from a double-digit share price slump.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject to regulatory approval, and is “consistent with the group’s ambition to focus on its capital-light business units,” Aviva said.
In 2022, Singlife contributed £17m to Aviva’s operating profit.
Japanese buyer Sumitomo Life is currently a 23.2 per cent shareholder in Singlife and sees Singapore as a key market within its overall Southeast Asia strategy, Aviva’s statement noted.