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Thursday, 4 March 2010

Qatar Said to Back Prudential Plc’s $20 Billion Rights Offering

Qatar Holding LLC, part of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, plans to back Prudential Plc’s proposed $20 billion rights offering, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation.

Qatar Holding, the Doha-based arm of the Qatar Investment Authority, offered to buy $1.5 billion of stock if Prudential shareholders decline to buy it in the offering, said the person, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The fund is in talks about acting as a sub-underwriter for Credit Suisse Group AG, one of the sale’s managers, the person said.

Prudential said March 1 it would pay $35.5 billion in cash and stock for AIA Group Ltd., an Asian division of American International Group Inc. The British insurer is embarking on the biggest takeover in its 162-year history to expand in a region that it says is growing faster than its home market and benefits from higher rates of personal savings.