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Standard slashes equity content of w-p fund to 50 per cent

Standard Life has cut the equity content of its with profits fund by £7.5bn, resulting in an equity backing ratio for the fund of around 50 per cent.

The move out of equities was spelt out alongside the life office&#39s results published today for the 12 months to November 2003.

It says it has available assets on a statutory basis of £4.6bn up from £4.2bn in 2002 and says this is 2.2 times the required minimum margin. The latest figures were submitted to the FSA on February 15.

Standard says the realistic basis balance sheet calculations on which these figures are based is likely to be refined further before the release of next year&#39s figures.

The life office says its fund for future appropriations is £4.5bn up from £3.2bn in 2002.

The company has also set out plans to raise £750m of hybrid capital to support future growth but says this process is unlikely to begin until the second quarter.

Group chief executive Sandy Crombie says: “My aim as chief executive is to secure Standard Life&#39s position as a leader in the UK financial services industry and deliver greater value for members. On the new regulatory reporting basis, and following a series of management actions, we expect to report that Standard Life will show a realistic surplus of more than £4bn.

“This should reassure both policyholders and bondholders that we have sufficient capital to support our business.”

“Some of the decisions we have taken over the last six months have been difficult ones.”

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