UPDATE 2-Prudential seeks HK listing hearing Thursday-sources

* Hong Kong listing comes ahead of key rights offering

* HK listing part of Prudential’s $35.5 bln AIA deal

* Prudential says committed to existing UK listing

(Adds new details from source)

By Michael Flaherty and Victoria Howley

HONG KONG/LONDON, April 16 (BestGrowthStock) – Prudential (PRU.L: )
aims to gain approval for its Hong Kong listing next week,
sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, as it pushes
ahead to fund its $35.5 billion takeover of Asian rival AIA.

The British insurer is seeking the listing to lure Asian
investors to a $21 billion rights issue, launched to fund the
acquisition of American International Group’s (AIG) (AIG.N: )
life insurance unit.

Separately, a person close to the matter told Reuters that
Prudential had detailed discussions with Clive Cowdery about
selling its UK business to his buy-out vehicle Resolution
(RSL.L: ) just before the AIA bid was announced.

However, there have been no formal discussions since then,
another person close to the matter told Reuters.

And Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam reiterated his commitment
to the existing London listing this week, despite the
transformational nature of the AIG deal.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange Listing Committee meets every
Thursday. Gaining the committee’s stamp of approval is a key
step toward listing shares on the exchange.

Hong Kong-traded shares will give Prudential more
shareholders around the globe as it prepares the crucial rights
offering needed for the AIA acquisition.

Because Prudential is only allowing its shares to trade on
the Hong Kong exchange, rather than pricing a standard stock
offering, the listing is expected to happen soon after it
receives approval.

The sources warned that the timing of the listing and of
other key events associated with Prudential’s $35.5 billion
takeover of AIG’s Asian life insurance unit were subject to
change.

Prudential’s Hong Kong spokesman declined to comment.

The British insurer is launching a $21 billion rights
offering to help finance the insurance industry’s largest-ever
acquisition. The prospectus for the rights offering is expected
to be public on April 29, according to a source, with a
shareholder vote and the offering in May.

ACCELERATED LISTING

On March 8, Prudential announced it was accelerating plans
for its listing of ordinary shares on the Hong Kong exchange.
Prudential said it had made an application to the exchange,
aiming to have the listing effective prior to launch of the
rights issue.

The formal term for Prudential’s move onto the Hong Kong
exchange is an “introduction”, as it becomes a dual-primary
listing without the typical stock underwriting, pricing, and
investor road show that accompany standard initial public
offerings.

Prudential is not proposing to offer new ordinary shares in
connection with the listing other than those in the rights
issue, the company has said.

Prudential’s UK business is a strong provider of cash for
the group, which helps it to pay dividends to shareholders and
supports its credit rating, one of the people said.

“Pru would consider selling the business at the right price
– its existing Asian businesses are starting to generate more
cash as they mature – but Resolution is currently the only buyer
in the market, so it is not an attractive time to sell,” the
person said.

But he added that a theoretical sale of the U.K. business
could help Prudential avoid having to raise capital to meet
European solvency rules.

Analysts have said key aspects of the so-called Solvency II
regime could push British insurers to raise 50 billion pounds in
capital, although growing criticism in continental Europe means
they are increasingly likely to be watered down.

Growth Stocks

(Additional reporting by Kennix Chim and Denny Thomas; editing
by Chris Lewis and Karen Foster)

UPDATE 2-Prudential seeks HK listing hearing Thursday-sources