Several insurers, including Prudential, are considering entering the Thai insurance market through a purchase of Siam Commercial Bank’s (SCB) insurance unit, according to reports. If the deal goes through it would be one of the biggest in the region’s history.
According to Reuters
, several insurers are considering bids to buy at least 49 per cent of the Thai lender’s insurance arm. A sale would allow the buyer to offer insurance products throughout SCB’s 1,200 domestic branches – it is the third-largest lender in Thailand and is reportedly valued at around $3 billion.
Insiders have said AIA Group, Aviva
Group and Manulife are also competing for the deal. Reuters
reported spokespeople from Manulife, Prudential, AIA and ACE
declined to comment.
Southeast Asia has emerged as a target for many foreign insurers due to the region’s low insurance penetration level and fast growth rate of life insurance premiums.
According to the Thai Life Assurance Association, total life insurance premium income in Thailand is forecast to grow nine per cent this year to THB585.7bn. In 2015 it grew 6.7 per cent. Bancassuracne deals are also proving to be a popular way to sell insurance products in Asia, alongside the more common agency channel route.
In 2012, AIA purchased ING’s Malaysian insurance business for $1.73 billion, the biggest deal in the region’s history.
Other areas of Prudential’s business are not as promising. The company recently announced
80 jobs will be relocated to India and Scotland as it realigns its business amid falling product demand.
Major English carrier Prudential set to move jobs to India, Scotland