Prudential Agrees to Sell Unit in Japan to SBI for $85 Million

Prudential Plc, the U.K.’s biggest insurer by market value, agreed to sell a life insurance unit in Japan that is closed to new customers to Tokyo-based SBI Holdings Inc. for $85 million.

The sale of PCA Life Japan, which stopped writing new business in February 2010, is subject to regulatory approval, London-based Prudential said in a statement today.

“The proposed sale is consistent with Prudential’s strategy of allocating its capital to markets where it is well positioned to generate attractive long-term returns for shareholders,” Prudential said in the statement.

The insurer is focused on business in fast-growing economies in southeast Asia, including Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Philippines. Prudential remains committed to the Japanese market through its Asian asset-management business, Eastspring Investments, the company said.

Prudential shares rose 0.5 percent to 1,131 pence at 12:40 p.m. in London trading, valuing the company at about 29 billion pounds ($44 billion).

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