Continuing its expansion in Asia, Italian insurer Generali Group
is to enter Vietnam’s insurance market in 2010 following the
Vietnam Ministry of Finance’s granting to it of a licence to
establish a representative office in Hanoi, the country’s capital.
Generali will become Vietnam’s 12th life insurer.
Speaking enthusiastically about prospects in Vietnam, Generali’s
CEO Sergio Balbinot praised Vietnam’s government for steering the
economy along what he termed “a virtuous path” by creating solid
development opportunities for the life and general insurance
Adding attraction to what Generali views as an insurance market
ranking amongst those with the highest growth potentials is
Vietnam’s very young, savings-oriented population, he added.
Vietnam’s economy is also among the world’s top performers, having
achieved an average annual GDP growth rate of some 8 percent over
the past five years.
GDP is anticipated to grow at an average of 6 percent annually over
the next 10 years, according to Generali.
Other factors also favour Vietnam’s insurance market, noted
“After entering the World Trade Organisation [Vietnam] is reforming
insurance law with the clear intent of increasing the levels of
insurance distribution in the country,” he said.
Indeed, insurers are receiving strong backing from the government
which aims to raise per capita insurance spending from the current
$15 to $43 and penetration of insurance premiums from 1.4 percent
of GDP to 4.2 percent by 2012.
Notably, in a country with a population of 85.8 million, only 5
million insurance contracts were in force at the end of 2008,
according to Dai-ichi Life Vietnam.
Balbinot continued that conditions favour Vietnam becoming one of
Generali’s “strategic growth markets” in Asia.
“Experience gained in developing our activities in China and in
Southeast Asia will be extremely valuable for the future launch of
our activities in Vietnam,” he concluded.
With the addition of Vietnam, Generali’s operational markets in
Asia will increase to eight, along with China, Hong Kong, India,
the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan.
In 2008 Generali earned life premium income of €270 million ($395
million) in the Asian region.