The organisers of Asia's most prestigious prize for literature said Thursday they were looking for a new sponsor after the Man Group announced it was ending its funding for the prize after six years.

The Man Asian Literary Prize began in 2007 and is given to the best novel by an Asian writer, either written in English or translated into English.

The prize -- which aims to raise appreciation of Asian literature -- said the Man Group, a London-based investment firm, would end its six-year run as sponsor after this year's prize, which will be handed out in March 2013.

"We look forward to the future with a new partner, confident that Asian fiction is now beginning to win the global readership and recognition it deserves," the prize's executive director, David Parker, said in a statement.

A spokesman for the Man Group told AFP that the firm would instead concentrate on the Man Booker Prize, one of the top awards in English-language literature, which was on Tuesday awarded to British novelist Hilary Mantel.

The 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize was awarded to South Korean author Kyung-sook Shin for her novel "Please Look After Mom", a story about a family's guilty soul-searching after the disappearance of their elderly mother.