Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has acquired the $23.5m premium insurer

RSA Insurance Group has announced that on 3 July it reached an agreement to sell Sun Alliance Insurance (China) Limited (‘RSA China’) to Swiss Re Corporate Solutions in a $119m cash deal.

The insurer said it expects to make a gain on the sale of RSA China and an addition to the group’s net tangible assets of about $44m.

RSA Group chief executive Stephen Hester said: “This transaction builds on the momentum of our recently announced disposals in the Baltics, Poland and Canada, and represents continued progress against our aim of tightening the strategic focus of the group.

“We are continuing to evaluate further non-core disposals, some of which we expect to agree during 2014.”

RSA has businesses in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and India, but those operations contributed less than 2% to net premiums in the first quarter of 2014.

In late 2013, head of Asia for RSA Chris Colahan (pictured) told StrategicRISK that he was under no illusions about what was required to re-establish his company in the region. “We exited many markets in the region back in the early 2000s due to the fact that there was some balance-sheet repair work going on in Europe and we had to sell some good assets,” he said at the time. “But since I moved here 18 months ago, there’s been a big focus on rebuilding our presence in Asia and making lots of investment to do that.”

Colahan said that the first decade of the 21st century was “a bit of a blip in the long storied history that we’ve had Asia”. “RSA as a company has been in existence for 303 years, and we’ve been in Asia for more than 185 years,” he said. “Most people get that it’s a story that not many insurers can tell, and I think the depth of our history and tenure out here ultimately carries the day.”

It is yet to become clear what this latest move means for RSA’s remaining Asian offices in Singapore and Hong Kong.