LONDON Feb 15 British insurer RSA is sounding
out institutional investors to raise as much as 350 million
pounds ($585.59 million) in a emergency share placing that would
allow it to avoid a rights issue, the Financial Times reported
Citing people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said
Stephen Hester - the former RBS chief who was hired to
lead the RSA earlier this month - had approached top
institutional investors to win their support for the "quick and
easy" route of a share placing.
The newspaper said he was seriously considering the option
of raising up to 10 percent of RSA's equity through a placing,
although no decision had yet been taken. It added a full rights
issue was still possible and RSA was also looking at disposals.
A spokeswoman for the insurer declined to comment on what
she called a "speculative" story. "The review is ongoing, we'll
announce the outcome of that on Feb. 27," she said.
RSA is reeling from an accounting scandal at its Irish
division that left a 200 million pound hole in its finances. The
company previously has said it was considering all options to
raise capital that could include the sale of business units.