Prudential continues mega-rally as new business builds

British insurer Prudential saw its shares continue their multi-year rally after reporting a 17 percent year-to-date rise in new business profits on Tuesday.

Group new business profit on a constant exchange rate basis rose to £1.5 billion ($2.35 billion) compared with £1.4 billion a year earlier, Prudential said in a third-quarter trading statement on Tuesday.

Tidjane Thiam
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Tidjane Thiam

New business profit in Asia saw a 15 percent rise, while U.S. new business profit gained 16 percent and U.K. new business profit rose by 28 percent.

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Transferring profits in Asia to their local currencies, Prudential Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam admitted that the recent success wasn't quite so promising. With the stronger U.S. dollar and the U.S. Federal Reserve curbing back its liquidity program, emerging market currencies have softened in recent months.

Nonetheless, Thiam told CNBC Tuesday that the move in global currencies was a "medium-term upside", adding that Asia was still a key driver for the business.

"We actually think that Asia is not in a bad place," he said.

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Prudential also said that it completed six "bulk annuity" transactions in its home market of Britain in the year-to-date, contributing new business profit of £88 million.

Individual annuity sales, in contrast, saw a 47 percent drop, following surprise U.K. pension reforms announced in March. The new rules will allow pensioners in the country to have a greater degree of flexibility and use their pensions more like bank accounts.

Thiam said that he welcomed the new regulations despite some uncertainty on how this would affect the industry.

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"Nobody should be entitled to tell (pensioners) what to do with that money. I'm a great believer in free markets," he said. He added that Prudential have diversified with new products in the face of these new rules and underlined that it had seen success with corporate "bulk" sales rather than to individuals.

Shares of the U.K. listed company rose nearly 1 percent in early trading after a brief halt on Tuesday morning. Shares are now worth around £14.55 after reaching depths of just over 200 pence following the financial crash of 2008.

The appreciation has meant the firm has seen a rally of almost 600 percent in six years with Thiam holding the reigns at Prudential for just over five of them.