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Nov 25, 2014

UK insurers and fund firms battle it out for pensioners’ cash

LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Billions of pounds in savings
that retiring British workers would have swapped for an income
for life are up for grabs after recent rule changes – and fund
managers are battling insurers for a slice of it.

Surprise reforms announced by the government this year mean
Britons are no longer forced to buy a guaranteed income – an
annuity – at retirement, so savers can do what they like with
their money when the rules take effect in April.

Nov 24, 2014

Aviva falls on Friends Life merger plan doubts

LONDON (Reuters) – Shares in British insurer Aviva (AV.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) fell more than five percent on Monday reflecting uncertainty about the potential benefits of the company’s 5.6 billion pound (8.79 billion US dollar) plan to merge with rival Friends Life (FLG.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)

The two insurers have agreed outline terms for a possible all-share deal, in which Aviva would offer a 15 percent premium to Friends Life’s share price to give those investors a 26 percent stake in the new company.

Nov 23, 2014

Aviva, Friends Life 5.6 bln pound merger plan makes sense -investors

LONDON, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Aviva’s potential 5.6
billion pound ($8.8 billion) purchase of Friends Life
reflects a need to consolidate and cut costs in Britain’s
insurance industry, fund managers said.

The two companies said on Friday they had agreed terms of a
possible all-share deal at a 15 percent premium to Friends
Life’s closing price, offering Friends Life shareholders a 26
percent stake in the new company.

Nov 21, 2014

Aviva in $8.8 billion deal to buy Friends Life after pensions shake-up

LONDON (Reuters) – British insurer Aviva (AV.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Friday it had agreed terms on a possible deal to buy rival Friends Life (FLG.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for 5.6 billion pounds ($8.8 billion), as British pension reform puts pressure on insurance companies to find new business.

Pension providers are rushing to reinvent themselves after the government in March unexpectedly removed obligations for people to buy an annuity, or income for life, at retirement, sharply cutting annuity sales.

Nov 21, 2014

Aviva in £5.6 bln deal to buy Friends Life after pensions shake-up

LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) – British insurer Aviva said
on Friday it had agreed terms on a possible deal to buy rival
Friends Life for 5.6 billion pounds ($8.8 billion), as
British pension reform puts pressure on insurance companies to
find new business.

Pension providers are rushing to reinvent themselves after
the government in March unexpectedly removed obligations for
people to buy an annuity, or income for life, at retirement,
sharply cutting annuity sales.

Nov 18, 2014

Prudential upbeat on Asia, U.S. as profits from new business rise

LONDON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – British life insurer Prudential
said the economic outlook for Asia and the United States
was good as it reported a double-digit rise in profit from new
business in the first nine months of the year.

The company said on Tuesday new business profit rose 17
percent to 1.5 billion pounds ($2.35 billion) from a year
earlier, after stripping out currency fluctuations, with
double-digit gains in Asia, the United States and the United
Kingdom.

Nov 18, 2014

Prudential profit from new business up 17 pct, shares hit record

LONDON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – British life insurer Prudential
posted a double-digit rise in profit from new business
in the first nine months of 2014, helped by sales of pension
services to companies in Britain.

The company said on Tuesday that new business profit rose 17
percent to 1.5 billion pounds ($2.35 billion) from a year
earlier, after stripping out currency fluctuations, with
double-digit gains in Asia, the United States and the United
Kingdom.

Nov 18, 2014

Hedge fund star Hintze tips long U.S. high yield credit, short Europe

LONDON (Reuters) – Hedge fund CQS is betting on U.S. high-yield corporate bonds following the return of widening credit spreads and volatility in the second half of the year, the firm’s founder Michael Hintze, one of Europe’s most influential investors, said on Monday.

Hintze, 61, whose firm manages about $14 billion, said he was also shorting European credits and flagged Russia as a “black hole” as it fights an economic crisis, sinking oil prices and a sanctions war with the West over Ukraine.

Nov 10, 2014

British pension reform dents Just Retirement sales

LONDON, Nov 10 (Reuters) – British pension reform hit
annuity provider Just Retirement’s quarterly sales of
individual annuities, the company said on Monday, as it looks to
other products to take up the slack.

Just Retirement, a FTSE 250 company, listed in November last
year, only a few months before the surprise reforms were
announced. The changes that come into effect in April will allow
retirees more freedom on what to do with their pension savings,
with no requirement to buy an income-providing annuity.

Nov 5, 2014

Old Mutual sales hit by weaker rand, assets rise

LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Sales at Anglo-South African
financial services group Old Mutual fell in the third
quarter due to weakness in the rand and outflows from
institutional investors, though funds under management rose on
the year, the London-listed firm said in a trading statement on
Wednesday.

Old Mutual has been restructuring its business, selling off
some European assets and listing its U.S. asset management arm.

    • About Carolyn

      "I have worked at Reuters for more than 20 years but I switched in Sept 2014 to a new beat - insurance and fund management. I write about things like insurance deals, fund trends, geopolitical risks insured by Lloyd's and I'm grappling with understanding company accounts. In my vanishingly small spare time, I hope to contribute more to Reuters entertainment file."
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