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Singapore’s UOB bank sells insurance unit to Prudential

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Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB) said Wednesday it will sell its insurance business to British insurer Prudential in a cash deal worth 428 million Singapore dollars (306.4 million US).

Upon completion of the deal, expected on January 31, UOB Life Assurance will cease to be a subsidiary of UOB, the Singapore bank said in a statement.

UOB will then enter into a bancassurance agreement with Prudential to distribute various insurance products from the British insurer in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand for at least 12 years, it said.

“The tie-up allows us to leverage our distribution strength and harness the manufacturing expertise of a leading life insurer, to jointly accelerate the growth of our bancassurance business regionally,” said UOB chief executive Wee Ee Cheong.

“We are delighted to have Prudential as our partner in this development and look forward to working together to deliver greater value to our customers and our stakeholders.”

Tidjane Thiam,  Prudential Plc group chief executive, said the bancassurance agreement with UOB “offers us significant new profitable growth opportunities in Singapore and Indonesia.”

It also “substantially increases our scale in Thailand, a key market in the region,” he said.