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Tower to keep life insurance business

Tower said today it would keep its remaining life insurance assets
Tower said today it would keep its remaining life insurance assets

Tower, which sold the majority of its life insurance business to Fidelity Life Assurance in May, says it has decided to retain the remaining life assets after talks with potential buyers.

The general insurer said it has ended talks with a number of interested parties and has decided not to sell Tower Life (NZ). It sold most of its life assets earlier this year for some $145 million in cash and liabilities.

"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," said chief executive David Hancock.

Tower Life has 50,000 policies made up of participating and non-participating Life insurance policies, annuities and unit linked insurance policies. Policy and shareholder assets are managed under investment management agreements operated by a third party.

The insurer has sold a total of three businesses in the past year for a total of $370 million. It returned $120 million to shareholders in April and plans a further $70 million capital return via an off market voluntary share buyback offer that closes on Jan 23.

The shares rose 0.6 per cent to $1.76 on the NZX today.

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