Prudential Malaysia unit in talks with KWAP to sell 30% stake for $435m

Photo: Reuters

British insurer Prudential PLC is in advanced talks with Malaysia’s No.2 pension fund to sell a 30-percent stake, valued at about $435 million, in its Malaysian unit to comply with new foreign ownership rules, people familiar with the matter said.

Foreign insurers are scrambling to trim their stakes in their local units to 30 percent to abide by a directive from Malaysia’s central bank, under an initiative to lift domestic participation in the industry.

Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad is a wholly-owned life insurance unit of Britain’s largest insurer by assets. It is one of the leading foreign insurers in the Southeast Asian country.

The British insurer’s talks with retirement fund Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) are not exclusive and details of a possible deal could be finalised as early as this month, said the people who declined to be named as the talks are not public.

KWAP CEO Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad told Reuters that the fund had submitted its offer for the Prudential unit’s stake, but declined to give details. Prudential did not comment on the talks, but said it was committed to its local business.

There is no certainty that Prudential’s talks with KWAP will result in a deal, and the British insurer could also weigh a possible listing on the Malaysian bourse to divest the stake, the people said.

(By Sumeet Chatterjee, Anshuman Daga, and Liz Lee)

Also Read:

Faced with new ownership rules, foreign insurers feel the heat in Malaysia

Great Eastern in talks for sale of Malaysia unit to EPF for up to $1b

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.