FWD eyes mainland China expansion

Firm also “actively looking” for acquisition targets to expand general insurance business in the region

FWD eyes mainland China expansion

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

FWD, a Hong Kong-based insurer under tycoon Richard Li’s Pacific Century Group, is looking to expand into mainland China, as well as expand its general insurance business, its CEO said.

The acquisitive insurer has spent over US$6 billion over the past six years to enter nine markets in the region – Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and most recently, Malaysia.

FWD has already applied for a licence to enter a joint venture in China, which is the world’s second-largest insurance market, and projected to take the top spot in 2030.

“It would be good to have China, but having a growth story in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), having a stable profitability in Japan, having a strong base in Hong Kong will be pretty compelling,” FWD chief executive Huynh Thanh Phong told Reuters, amid discussions for a potential IPO.

Huynh added that FWD’s next acquisitions are likely to be in the general insurance sector, focusing on areas such as motor, property, and travel insurance. The executive said that FWD is “actively looking” for targets in Southeast Asia, which will complement its existing businesses in Hong Kong and Singapore, but life insurance would remain its main business focus.

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