Pru splashes out to boost Thai share

Prudential has agreed to buy the insurance unit of Thailand's Thanachart Bank for £368m in its first Asian deal since the botched takeover of AIA in 2010.

The deal, which will double the Pru's market share in Thailand, will turn up the heat on AIA in the fast-growing Asian market.

"We have had a long-standing ambition to significantly increase our presence in Thailand, one of our key target markets in South-east Asia," Pru's chief executive, Tidjane Thiam, said yesterday.

Mr Thiam this weekend said the fallout from the failed $36bn (£22bn) takeover of AIA "went beyond anything I could imagine", adding he was shocked by the "extreme personalisation" of the criticism he faced. "Did I make mistakes? Yes, certainly. I think I acted in good faith and I think the company has come out of it stronger and not weaker," he told BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.

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