Hartford Financial Climbs After Reuters Report on Japan Unit Bid

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG), the insurer focusing on property-casualty coverage, rose as Reuters reported that Apollo Global Management LLC and J.C. Flowers & Co. may bid for unit that sold annuities in Japan.

Hartford climbed 4.5 percent to $32.06 at 3:24 p.m. in New York. The insurer has rallied about 43 percent this year.

The insurer stopped selling annuities in Japan and the U.S. to reduce the risk of interest rate fluctuations and stock market declines. Hartford, based in the Connecticut city of the same name, struck a deal in June with Berkshire Hathaway Inc., to limit annuity risk. Berkshire agreed to take on liabilities from U.K. annuity contracts that Hartford sold in prior years.

“We do view transactions as a powerful tool to accelerate the runoff of the annuity block,” Tom Hambrick, a spokesman for the insurer, said in an e-mail. “Any transactions would be evaluated by balancing the sales price and underlying economics with the capital that would be released.” He declined to comment on Apollo or Flowers.

Carolyn Sargent, a spokeswoman for Apollo at Rubenstein Associates, had no immediate comment. A message left with Flowers wasn’t immediately returned.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zachary Tracer in New York at ztracer1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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