Norwich insurance giant Aviva has sold its stake in Spanish life and pension provider Aseval to Bankia for £494m.

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Aviva will receive a cash payment from the holding in the Spanish insurer by April 30.

CGU Plc, which merged with Norwich Union Plc to become Aviva, bought the stake in 2000 for about £200m, allowing it to sell life insurance and pensions to customers of Spanish lender, Bancaja, which became part of the Bankia group in 2010.

John McFarlane, chairman of Aviva, said: “This settlement is in line with our strategy to increase Aviva’s financial strength and we have realised significant value from our joint venture with Bankia. We remain focused on providing excellent service to our customers in Spain, through our other bank partners and distribution agencies.”

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