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Prudential fund-raising delayed

Prudential has been forced to delay the announcement of its $21 billion fund-raising amid ongoing talks with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) regarding the potential acquisition of AIG's Asian operations. While the company has allayed fears that the deal could be blocked or delayed because of the talks with the FSA, it is unclear exactly what the potential stumbling block is. The company expects to announce details of its fund raising in the next few days.

Rumours and counter rumours continue to circulate around Prudential with regards to the future makeup of the group. The company is adamant the acquisition of the Asian operations of AIG will set the group onto a new path for the future but some analysts are concerned about the size of the acquisition and the experience of the current Prudential management. Whether the ongoing weakness in worldwide equity markets will impact in any way upon the fund-raising remains to be seen but concerns about the European markets and a potential slowdown in China are not helping the situation.

Incidentally, the FSA has refused to comment upon the Prudential situation although those close to the talks believe there is nothing to worry about. We should hopefully receive clarification about the situation over the next few days.

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