RSA to sell Asia subsidiaries to Allied World Assurance for £130m

 

RSA Insurance boss Stephen Hester has offloaded its insurance businesses in Singapore and Hong Kong for £130 million to Allied World Assurance as he presses on with a major slimming of the FTSE 100 group.

Former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Hester has now sold four subsidiaries since taking the helm at RSA in February.

Today’s sale means he has raised close to £740 million to bolster the insurer’s balance sheet.

Hester got £300 million for selling its Baltics and Poland operation in April, collected £238 million for disposing of its majority-owned Canadian insurance brokerage business in May and netted a further £71 million from selling its China division in July.

He also carried out a near-£800 million rights issue  in March.

Hester said the latest sell-off of the Singapore and Hong Kong businesses “represents continued progress against our aim of tightening the strategic focus of the group” and promised further disposals over the next 12 to 18 months.

RSA shares slipped 0.5p at 436p and stand at almost exactly the same price as when Hester started in the job.

Previous chief executive Simon Lee quit in December after two years, following a crisis in its Irish operation which resulted in a £200 million “black hole” because of a capital shortfall.

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