Aviva to divest stake in Hong Kong business to PE firm Hillhouse Capital

FILE PHOTO: The Aviva logo sits outside the company head office in the city of London, Britain March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

British insurer Aviva has simplified its business into five operating divisions following a review and is selling its stake in its Hong Kong business to co-investor Hillhouse Capital, it said on Wednesday ahead of a presentation to investors.

The life and general insurer is struggling to find direction, analysts and investors say, after replacing its chief executive earlier this year.

Aviva said it was dividing its businesses into investments, savings and retirement; UK life; Europe life; Asia life, and general insurance.

“I am committed to running Aviva better,” said Chief Executive Maurice Tulloch, who took over the top job in March.

“We will be more commercially focused, manage costs rigorously and be more disciplined in how we invest.”

Aviva set out several three-year targets, including a 12% return on equity and a 300 million pound ($387.42 million) net cost saving by 2022.

It said it was committed to its progressive dividend policy and saw 2019 operating profit in line with management expectations, following around 300-400 million pounds in management actions.

Aviva said it was in discussions about the future of its businesses in Vietnam and Indonesia, following the sale of its stake to Hillhouse in the Hong Kong business, named Blue.

Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest gaming and social media company, also has a stake in Blue.

Aviva said this week it was keeping its Singapore operation following a review of its Asian businesses, raising speculation it could not get a satisfactory price for it. The insurer also said it was keeping its joint venture in China.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.