Friends Provident International (FPI) reports new business sales fell 24% for the nine months to October 2009 compared to the same period last year.
Total international life and pensions business dropped to £209.1m for the period, down from £276.6m in 2008.
However, FPI and Lombard, which make up the international business arm of Friends Provident, reported positive quarter on quarter sales growth for 2009, at £47.8m and £28.3m for Q3 up from £44.1m and £26.2m in Q2 respectively.
Similarly AmLife, in which FPI has a 30% share, reported sales of £2.3m for the third quarter, compared to £2m in Q2.
The quarter on quarter growth is being driven by sales in Asia, mainly in Hong Kong, which reported Q3 at £26m, up £4m on the Q2.
Rocco Sepe, managing director of international operations at FPI, says: "We are seeing the return of vibrancy. Markets in the first quarter of 2009 were very difficult. In Asia, especially Hong Kong, people were almost rioting after losing money off the back of the Lehmans collapse and AIG being brought to its knees, a major player in Asia.
"But now people are recruiting, export markets are improving and there is a definite return of confidence."
Half of all FPI business is in Asia, and it is looking to grow further in Malaysia, says Sepe.
He expects a strong fourth quarter in line with the end of the European tax year, helped further by an Italian tax amnesty on repatriation of undeclared funds, the deadline for which is 15 December.
On speculation Resolution, which merged with Friends Provident earlier this month, is looking to acquire at least two more new life businesses in the UK, potentially with international arms, Sepe says he is "getting prepared".
"We are getting ready to take on and integrate any businesses which come our way."
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