Prudential targets major Asia expansion programme

Prudential, the insurance giant, outlined its growth potential in Asia yesterday by revealing plans to double new business profits from the region by 2013.

South-east Asia is ripe for growth as the penetration of insurance products remains low in comparison with developed countries.

In a presentation to investors in London, the Pru's chief executive, Tidjane Thiam, set out his target to double the value of profits from Asian new business by 2013, compared with the 713 million achieved last year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The firm, which has about 1,000 staff in Scotland, mainly at its offices near Stirling, delivered on its previous objective to double Asia new business profits between 2005 and 2009 and said its new target was achievable given its proven strategy and the potential of its chosen markets.

"The objectives for Asia reflect our belief that Asia will continue to offer the highest growth and highest return opportunities for a generation or more," said Thiam. "Market conditions in Asia continue to be positive, with Asian economies performing strongly in spite of a challenging global environment." The briefing signals another step in the firm's effort to rebuild bridges with the City following its abortive $35.5 billion (22.6bn) bid for the Asian arm of US-based AIG earlier this year.

Panmure Gordon insurance analyst Barrie Cornes said yesterday's forecasts were demanding but that Prudential had a habit of delivering on its targets.

He added: "The announcement is of stretching targets and reinforced the dividend paying capabilities along with adequate capital to grow the business."

However, Cornes said the update would not dampen City expectations over a future sale of the UK business.