Prudential plc's first-quarter 2008 sales figures, released today, show demand for offshore products has risen in spite of the failure to gain a tax concession for offshore bonds in light of the new capital gains tax regime.
According to a release to the London Stock Exchange, sales of the group’s offshore products (sold within the UK and Europe) were up 36% on 2007 at £19m annual premium equivalent (APE). Sales into the UK market increased by 124%, reflecting increased demand for Prudential’s open-architecture portfolio bond product. Prudential International launched an enhanced offering in March – the Portfolio Account, a single premium offshore portfolio bond.
Richard Leeson, head of business development at Prudential International, commented: “An increasing number of advisers are recognising the flexibility, choice and potential tax effectiveness this sort of product can offer to their higher net worth clients. In addition, our new Portfolio Account offers four flexible charging structures and provides access to a wide range of collective investments from markets across the world and will provide an alternative for investors who might have looked at fund supermarkets or wraps in the past.”
Elsewhere in the global group results, Asia was the biggest contributor to new business in the first quarter, with APE sales of £375m, up 30% on the same period in 2007.
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