ROYAL & SUN Alliance has commenced discussions with an unnamed party or parties to sell its UK life insurance arm in order to cut losses associted with the troubled division.
According to The Scotsman, the RSA move follows weeks of City speculation.
RSA said: "As has been indicated for some time, the group is reviewing options for its UK Life insurance operations with respect to releasing capital."
Difficulties at the insurance arm have forced RSA to abandon its global ambitions and focus on property and casualty insurance. It has already cut 20,000 jobs and issued new shares to prop up its balance sheet.
However, the group added: "These discussions are at an early stage."
PENSIONS EXPERTS yesterday urged Gordon Brown not to raise the retirement age to 70, arguing the Treasury would be the one 'cashing in' if people were forced to work longer, reports The Times.
The government must either lift the retirement age to 70 or scrap it altogether in response to a European Union directive coming into force by October 2006, which will effectively ban age discrimination.
Both business leaders and trade unions are against the move to raise the retirement age to 70.
If the government still pushes ahead with the proposal, it stands to gain about £10bn in annual windfall, generated from additional tax taken from workers who would have otherwise have taken retirement.
THE PROPERTY market may finally have reached its peak as a new report by property website Rightmove suggested house prices fell for the first time this year in early June, reports The Daily Telegraph.
Rightmove said the average cost of a home in England and Wales dropped £683, or 0.4%, during the first full week of this month as buyers began to feel the impact of recent rises in interest rates.
But while the website believes the market is at last cooling down, its latest findings reveal that house prices still rose by 2.6% to an average of £193,965 over the five weeks to June 12.
Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: "Over the month, prices are up again, but close analysis provides evidence that the market may have turned.
"The impact of four interest rate rises - including two on the bounce in April and May - is beginning to bite. Right up till the end of May the boom continued unabated but, come June, the market seems to have turned and we've seen the first price falls since the usual seasonal slowdown last Christmas."IFAonline
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