South Korean insurers are focusing on Southeast Asian markets with their home market stagnant.
For example, Mirae Asset Life Insurance recently decided to invest in Prevoir Vietnam Life Insurance Company, a French life insurance company in Vietnam. Prevoir Vietnam entered the Vietnamese market in 2005 and its local market share is around 1% now, but it is regarded as a very promising firm in that it is engaged in bancassurance via banks and post offices across the country.
Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, in the meantime, recently acquired 20% of the shares of Petrolimex Joint Stock Insurance Company, a Vietnamese non-life insurer. “Our main clients have been South Korean companies in Vietnam,” Samsung explained, adding, “We are expecting that the acquisition of the shares will lead to more direct business relations with Vietnamese companies based on the utilization of the local insurer’s networks.”
Hanwha Life Insurance and Dongbu Life Insurance are expanding their business in Vietnam, too. Hanwha Life Insurance Vietnam recorded its first profit last year since its inception in 2009. The company is providing bancassurance services in partnership with South Korean banks in Indonesia as well as Vietnam. “Each of the insurance markets of Vietnam and Indonesia is showing a double-digit annual growth,” Hanwha remarked.