January 3, 2014 / 3:41 AM / 4 years ago

NZ's Tower says to retain domestic life insurance business

WELLINGTON, Jan 3 (Reuters) - New Zealand insurance company Tower Ltd on Friday said it would keep its New Zealand life insurance business following the sale of most of its life insurance businesses last year.

New Zealand's second-largest health insurer said that it had decided to retain its domestic life insurance business after considering its sale to interested parties.

"Tower believes there are a number of opportunities to continue to improve the business performance of the retained life business and for a release of capital over time," Tower CEO David Hancock said in a statement.

It added that it planned to return NZ$70 million ($57.49 million) to shareholders this month through an off-market voluntary share buyback.

Tower in May last year sold most of its life insurance business to Fidelity Life Assurance Company Ltd in a deal worth around NZ$189 million.

($1 = 1.2176 New Zealand dollars)

Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Matt Driskill

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