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Prudential PLC to increase tech spend to fuel Asia growth

U.K.-based Prudential PLC is planning to increase technological investment in Asia to help achieve its growth ambitions in the region, Bloomberg News reported, citing Nic Nicandrou, CEO of the company's Asia operation.

Nicandrou told the newswire that the insurer will increase annual spending in Asia by 20% to £300 million from 2018 in areas including automation and online sales. Nicandrou noted that Prudential also expects earnings in the region to double every five to seven years.

Nicandrou said the investment would reduce to minutes from days the time it takes to issue policies, as well as allow the expansion of an online chat service for customer queries. He also said Prudential plans to start an artificial intelligence initiative to enable it to settle hospital claims the same day.

The initiative will be first launched in Singapore in 2018, the newswire noted. Prudential, which has 1,500 technology staff in Asia, recorded £2.4 billion of new business profit and £2 billion of operating profit in the region in 2017.