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Hartford May Sell Life Unit: Report

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Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. is talking to Sun Life Financial Inc., Toronto, about selling its life insurance company, according to a published report.

Bloomberg News, quoting unnamed sources, says Hartford is considering a sale of its Hartford Life unit.

Hartford held separate talks with MetLife Inc. that ended last month, according to Bloomberg’s sources.

None of the companies would comment to Bloomberg about the reports.

Hartford reported a loss of $2.7 billion in 2008, primarily due to investment losses, and poor performance in its life division is threatening the company’s property and casualty business, Bloomberg said.

Hartford has been hurt by costs of covering guarantees on variable annuities tied to the performance of a slumping stock market, Bloomberg notes.