Is another big member of the FTSE 100 wavering in its commitment to the index? Insurance giant Prudential’s decision to do a big fundraise purely in Hong Kong can be seen in the context of a longstanding pivot towards Asia but it could lay the groundwork for a dramatic break from the UK in the future.
“Activist investor Third Point, supportive of Prudential’s demerger of its US business Jackson Life, has also pushed for the group to eliminate its London office,” said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.
“While Prudential has rebuffed this suggestion for now you could certainly envisage a scenario where its increasing footprint in Africa and Asia, something the newly raised funds are intended to augment, leads to questions about just where it should have its primary share listing.
“In forging ahead with the Hong Kong fundraising it feels like Prudential has cleared a plane for take-off in the middle of a raging storm given the current volatility in the market.
“Management clearly has its eye on the long term and is prepared to look through the current turmoil as big opportunities are targeted from the growth in banking, insurance and investment products in Asia and Africa.”