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Friday 09th of July 2010
May 5, 2010    

Prudential rights issue delayed

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by Kay Murchie

Prudential, which is Britain’s second largest insurer, has announced today its $21 billion (£13.8 billion) cash call will be delayed due to intervention by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The insurance giant was due to embark on the rights issue in order to fund its acquisition of AIA, the Asian arm of US company American International Group (AIG).

Pru said the deal provided it with the opportunity to create South East Asia’s leading insurer.

The deal represents the insurance sector’s biggest ever and despite the scrutiny by the City regulator, Pru said it remains committed to the acquisition.

“The work completed since 1 March with the AIA and Prudential teams has convinced me more than ever that the enlarged Group will be in a position to capture sustainable and highly profitable growth and will deliver substantial long term value for our shareholders,” said Pru’s chairman, Harvey McGrath.

However, the delay comes at a time when global stock markets are falling, due to the ongoing turmoil in debt-ridden Greece.

The FSA declined to comment on the delay but Pru said it will not affect the overall timing for the completion of the transaction, which is expected to be during the third quarter.

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