Aug 8, 2019

Aviva: a Boris bet

This newish chief executive is unlikely to respond with: "Aviva is a bet on Boris Johnson proving less incompetent that he appears." But that was the characterisation suggested by half-year results. The UK generated more than half of Aviva's operating profits before central costs. Aviva's £24.4bn of regulatory capital is 194 per cent of the regulatory minimum. If Mr Johnson disengages from the EU less messily than feared - food and medicine shortages are possible - there will be plenty of upside in Aviva shares. A needy rival may pay over the odds for Aviva assets valued at $2bn-$4bn. The motto "You zig, we'll zag" lacks gravitas as a company motto.

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