UPDATE 1-Insurer Resolution in talks to sell Malaysia JV stake

Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:30am EDT

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LONDON Oct 16 (Reuters) - British life insurer Resolution on Tuesday said it was in talks to sell its stake in a Malaysian joint venture as part of an overhaul aimed at cutting costs and boosting returns to shareholders.

The company is discussing a sale of its 30 percent stake in Amlife Insurance Berhad and AmFamily Takaful Berhad back to its joint venture partner, Malaysian lender AmBank Group, it said.

A spokesman said the planned sale formed part of a previously-announced effort by Resolution to streamline its operations and increase cash generation.

The company, created to buy and merge underperforming life insurers, earlier this year called a halt to takeovers and said it would focus instead on squeezing savings out of its existing assets, which include life insurer Friends Provident.

Resolution said its joint venture stake had an embedded value - an industry measure denoting the present value of expected future earnings from life insurance policies - of 38 million pounds ($61.00 million) as of June 30.

Resolution shares were up 0.3 percent at 1315 GMT, underperforming a 1 percent increase in the FTSE 100 share index.

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