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Pru sells Vita firm

Prudential yesterday struck its second deal in a week, selling its Italian life assurance company, Prudential Vita, to Royal & Sun Alliance for pounds 46m.

The move follows Pru's decision to top up its stake in J Rothschild Assurance to 29.9 per cent at a cost of around pounds 30m.

Keith Bedell-Pearce, Pru's director of international development, said: "The sale of our Italian operations completes the disposal of our relatively small life companies in continental Europe. For the moment our strategic focus is on the UK, US and Asia Pacific."

Prudential Vita's premium income was pounds 52m last year while Royal & Sun's Italian operations produced pounds 13m. David Barker, Royal's head of international life operations, said: "We view the Italian market very positively."