Samsung Life Insurance is seeking to tap into the Philippine Insurance Market. In order to do so, the company is considering establishing a joint company with a local bank. After Samsung Life Insurance recently changed its business strategy in China from an independent operation to a partnership with the Bank of China (BOC), it is also trying to enter the markets of Southeast Asian countries in partnership with local businesses.
According to industry sources and local media reports on Sept. 9, Samsung Life Insurance is making contact with Philippine National Bank (PNB) in a bid to advance into the country.
Founded in 1916, the PNB was privatized and became the first universal bank in the Philippines in 1980. It is one of the fifth largest private domestic banks in the country in terms of assets. The Philippines' Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel F. Dooc said in a recent interview with local media, “Some overseas insurance companies are interested in establishing a joint company with the PNB or tapping into the Bancasurance market by the acquisition of shares. The PNB is currently the only bank that attracts attention from international insurance companies in terms of assets and financial soundness.” He said that there are many foreign firms that are seeking an entry into the Bancasurance market through 662 branches of the PNB.
He did not mention the exact names of the relevant firms. However, local industry sources say that they are Samsung Life Insurance, Allianz Life Insurance of Germany, Zurich Life Insurance Company of Switzerland, and Fubon Life Insurance of Taiwan.
The Philippine Insurance Market has seen the growth of more than 40 percent sales in the first half of this year, after stagnation last year. As French investment banking firm AXA has quickly succeeded in operations in the Bancasurance market after joining hands with the Metropolitan Bank, the number one bank in the region, overseas insurance firms, which have not entered the Philippine market, are eager to break in.