Aviva in talks to sell units in France, Poland and Italy, CEO confirms

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Aviva Plc chief executive Amanda Blanc has confirmed that the company is in talks to sell units in France, Poland and Italy as part of its overhaul of the insurance giant.

The company is still in “the early stages of reviewing our options,” and there is currently “no set deadline” for sales, Blanc said in an interview Thursday. [Nov. 26] following a third quarter operational update. Aviva was also reviewing joint ventures in India, China and Turkey, according to a spokesperson.

Blanc’s appointment in August marked a change in strategy by announcing that Aviva would focus on its strongest units in the UK, Ireland and Canada, and consider options for its remaining regions. The company has since ceded control of its Singapore operations and quit one of its Italian businesses, and reportedly continued selling its French unit.

“We’ve made a good start in streamlining the group,” Blanc said in the interview.

The firm said on Thursday that dividends would likely increase from “low to mid-digit” and that it would return excess capital once a debt target of less than 30% is reached and solvency levels are higher. to the goal. Aviva announced in August that it was reviewing its dividend policy as part of a broader review of its operations.

Investors have long called for a more decisive change at Aviva and have been disappointed with the strategy put forward in 2019 by Blanc’s predecessor, Maurice Tulloch, who left after spending just over a year at the helm. Blanc suggested a more urgent approach early on after the company’s shares have underperformed the benchmark FTSE 100 for the past five years.

Photographer: Jason Alden / Bloomberg

Copyright 2020 Bloomberg.

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