On The Up: Sun Life & Provincial

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The Independent Online
SUN LIFE & PROVINCIAL shares jumped almost 10 per cent last week after the life insurer sold Guardian Royal Exchange's life unit to Aegon of the Netherlands for pounds 759m.

The UK insurer, now a subsidiary of France's Axa, also said first-half operating profit rose 32 per cent to pounds 162.6m on sales of life insurance and pensions.

The GRE life unit was put under review shortly after Sun Life merged with GRE in February because its main focus lies outside property and health insurance. GRE contributed pounds 21.6m to earnings in the two months after its purchase.

"These are very good figures," said Trevor Moss, an analyst at Robert Fleming Securities.