UK insurance and online banking heavyweight Prudential plc is plotting a major acquisition program focused on Asia.

News of Prudential’s plans in Asia is the latest twist in a turbulent few weeks for Britain’s second largest insurance player. After its recent controversial decision to reject overtures from rival Aviva, Prudential has now also announced the closure of a number of UK offices, with more work being relocated to lower cost locations (see separate story).

However, as part of the firm’s shift in emphasis, CEO Mark Tucker intends to aggressively target China, India, South Korea and Japan as markets where it can grow its presence in both life and non-life insurance.

In the past, a lot of Asia’s growth has been financed from the UK. In future, Asia’s growth can be financed internally, Mr Tucker was quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard. Speaking in Singapore, Mr Tucker also said that any acquisitions would be ‘opportunistic’, and declined to specify any possible targets.