FSA talks delay Prudential cash call

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The Independent Online

Insurance giant Prudential today suffered a setback in its launch of a record 21 billion US dollar (£13.8 billion) fundraising and mammoth Asian takeover.











The Pru, which was due to present shareholders with details of the cash call today, said discussions with the City regulator had caused it to delay the move.



It said talks with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) over the planned takeover of AIG's Asian arm, AIA Group, particularly centred on the capital position of the enlarged business.



Prudential, which has come across some investor resistance to its 35.5 billion US dollar (£23.2 billion) bid for AIA, said the overall timetable of the deal would not be affected.



Chairman Harvey McGrath said: "We are entirely committed to the transaction and remain on track to complete within the timing set out on March 1.



"The work completed since 1 March with the AIA and Prudential teams has convinced me more than ever that the enlarged group will be in a position to capture sustainable and highly profitable growth and will deliver substantial long term value for our shareholders."



The insurer, which said the FSA talks were focused on capital rules under the Insurance Groups Directive, still expects the transaction for AIA to occur during the third quarter of 2010.



It will now delay publishing details of the fundraising until after the negotiations have come to an end.



Pru was supposed to report on its trading performance for the first three months of its financial year today, but said that this would also be put back until the talks are concluded.



The firm's plans have reportedly met with some discontent among investors over the size of the deal and money they are being asked to stump up.



Shares rose about 1% today.

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