The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday, Nov. 20, edition that a move by British insurer Aviva to put part of its Asian operations up for sale opens a door for Manulife Financial to strengthen its distribution and digital capabilities in the region.
The Globe's Clare O'Hara writes that Aviva said Monday it will look for buyers for its operations in Vietnam, Hong Kong and Indonesia. Manulife will not say if it has an interest in purchasing the Aviva operations, but September media reports listed it as a potential bidder, among others.
CIBC analyst Paul Holden says, "Acquiring Aviva's Asian operations would broaden Manulife's distribution capabilities and strengthen its ties to a digital leader. An Asian tuck-in acquisition makes sense and should be viewed positively [for Manulife]."
Manulife already operates in each of the three regions Aviva plans to exit. In its most recent quarterly earnings, Manulife reported double-digit growth for its Asian businesses with $1.4-billion in insurance sales.
With Asia set to represent 60 per cent of the world's middle class, both of Canada's largest insurers -- Manulife and Sun Life Financial -- have had strong momentum in their Asian markets.
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