Aviva continues to narrow its focus after another disposal

UK insurance giant Aviva has sold its life and pensions operations in Russia in an effort to 'narrow' its focus.

UK insurance giant Aviva has sold its life and pensions operations in Russia in an effort to 'narrow' its focus.

The company said on Wednesday morning that Aviva Russia had been sold to Blagosostoyanie, a non-state pension fund in Russia, for a total consideration of €35m in cash.

Aviva said that the price represents a "modest premium" to the IFRS book value of the asset.

The transaction follows the group's strategy to "narrow the [...] focus to businesses and markets where Aviva has leadership positions", the firm said.

It follows a number of recent disposals as part of this strategy: in December, Aviva sold its US life and annuities business to Athene Holding for a total of $1.8bn; meanwhile, in January, it offloaded a 49% stake in Malaysian joint venture CIMB-Aviva to Sun Life Assurance for £152m.

The Russian sale still requires the approval of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation but is expected to complete before the end of the first half of 2013.

"We are pleased to have agreed the sale of our life and pensions operations in Russia to Blagosostoyanie. This transaction builds on the progress we have made to narrow Aviva's focus," said Chief Executive Officer Mark Wilson.

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