Aviva continues Asian retreat with Vietnam sale

Aviva buildingUK insurer Aviva has agreed the sale of its Vietnam business to rival insurer Manulife as it continues to reduce its presence in the Asian market. The transaction follows the completed sale of its holding in a Hong Kong joint venture (JV), Blue, to its JV partner, Hillhouse Capital. In September Aviva also announced the planned sale of its majority holding in Aviva Singapore to a consortium led by Singapore Life. The Vietnam sale is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory approval. Aviva has looked to revamp its international business in the latter half of 2020 following the impact of Covid-19, which saw an increase in insurance claims alongside reduced customer activity and a fall in asset values. According to its results for H1 2020, Aviva saw its operating profits fall from £1.38 billion (US$1.83 billion) to £1.23 billion compared to the previous year. The insurer appointed a new chief executive, Amanda Blanc, in July and one of her first steps was to pledge a greater focus on its core businesses in the UK, Ireland and Canada. “Where we cannot meet our strategic objectives, we will take decisive action and we will withdraw capital,” said Blanc back in August. The sale of the Vietnam business will also improve Aviva’s Solvency II surplus by £100 million. Its Solvency II ratio, an important capital requirement, had slipped from 206% to 194% as of the first half of 2020. © 2020 funds global asia

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