Monday, January 22, 2007

First Japanese life insurer enters Vietnam

Dai-ichi has become the first Japanese insurance company to set foot in Vietnam, obtaining Finance Ministry approval to buy out local insurance joint venture, Bao Minh CMG.

The value of the acquisition has yet to be unveiled.

Bao Minh CMG, a 50:50 joint venture between Vietnam’s Bao Minh Insurance Corporation and Australia’s Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd CMG, becomes Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance Vietnam after the takeover.

Tran The Huy, general director of Dai-ichi Vietnam said in the first year the company would re-structure operations to provide quality insurance products, focusing on the Dai-ichi brand in Vietnam.

In the second year, the firm would enlarge market share in Vietnam from the current 5 percent hold.

The insurer said it targeted to increase its chartered capital to US$25 million from the current $12.2 million in the near future.

He also pledged that despite the name and ownership change, all rights and obligations of customers under all existing insurance contracts would stay the same until expiration.

According to Shigeo Tsuyuki, deputy managing director of Japan-based Dai-ichi Life, the local insurance market carries large potential promoted by the young population, high economic growth, and low rate of life-insurance owners.

Bao Minh CMG, the fifth largest life insurance company in terms of gross premium income in Vietnam, was established in 1999.

It had 100,000 insurance policy holders by late last year and achieved gross premium income of VND126 billion (US$7.8 million), up 12.5 percent over the previous year.

Prior to granting approval in principle to the acquisition, the ministry analyzed the financial strength, experience and reputation of Dai-ichi Life, to ensure that customer benefits were properly secured.

Founded in 1902, Dai-ichi Life is the second largest life insurance company in Japan, the world’s second largest life insurance market.

Ranking sixth among the world largest life insurers in terms of gross premium income, Dai-ichi Life posted $29 billion in the fiscal year ended March last year, managing total assets of more than $ 276 billion.

In Japan, Dai-ichi Life provides a wide range of financial services including life insurance, pension and asset management.

Sourse: Thanhnien

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