Pru 'must return £1bn'

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The Independent Online

Leading shareholders in Prudential are calling for the financial services giant to return the £1bn it raised in last October's controversial rights issue.

Leading shareholders in Prudential are calling for the financial services giant to return the £1bn it raised in last October's controversial rights issue.

The investors are seeking meetings with senior non-executive director Rob Rowley, where the proposal will be formally raised. They are still angry over what they believe has been a catalogue of blunders - including its failure to sell Egg and the poorly communicated rights issue - and are continuing to question the company's presence in the US.

"Prudential should return the £1bn," said one of its largest shareholders. "We are not concerned how Prudential does this, but we will push for it."

Last week the Prudential's chief executive, Jonathan Bloomer, announced strong 2004 sales in the UK and continental Europe.

But the shareholder said: "We are still very frustrated. The issues still haven't gone away."

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