Prudential to sell Vietnam consumer finance unit

UK-based insurer to divest from non-core business to focus on insurance in the region

Prudential to sell Vietnam consumer finance unit

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

UK-based financial services firm Prudential is looking to sell its Vietnamese consumer finance unit, which provides personal and mortgage loans, as it seeks to shed its non-core businesses in order to focus on insurance.

The sale is expected to fetch up to US$150 million, according to people familiar with the matter.              

An adviser has already been appointed to oversee the sale of Prudential Vietnam Finance, sources told Reuters. They said that several buyers were interested, including private equity firms and financial services companies, but no specific companies were identified.

If the sale of Prudential Vietnam Finance pushes through, it will be the first major asset divestment since Nic Nicandrou, former group chief financial officer, was appointed head of its Asia business.

The consumer finance unit was founded in 2007 and was the first fully foreign-owned consumer finance company in Vietnam. As of October 2016, it had around 300,000 customers, according to its website.

Other global insurers, such as AXA, have also begun selling non-core businesses in Asia in order to focus more on their main business and make the most of Asia’s low insurance penetration amid intense competition.

Sources have said that Prudential wishes to do the same to its Vietnam insurance operation, which is much smaller than its Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and Indonesia businesses, but is expected to expand as the country experiences rapid economic growth.

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