RETAIL FINANCIAL SERVICES | Terry Gangcuangco, Singapore

Prudential is buying UOB’s life insurance unit

The life insurance unit of Singapore’s second-largest lender by market value will be purchased by Prudential Plc for S$428 million ($306 million).

With expected completion by the end of January 2010, the cash purchase of UOB Life Assurance Ltd. is part of Prudential's sales expansion in the Asian region. Prudential, U.K.’s second-biggest insurer, currently has Asia as its source of almost half of its revenue, as reported by Bloomberg.

Prudential will also enter a 12-year agreement with the bank to sell life, accident and health insurance in UOB’s 414 branches in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.

Kevin Ryan, an analyst at ING Financial Markets in London, commented, "Prudential have said they’d like to grow quicker in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, and this deal achieves that aim."

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