Great Eastern sees severe decline in new sales

NBEV margin, however, has improved because of favourable product mix in Singapore and Malaysia

Great Eastern sees severe decline in new sales

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

Insurance group Great Eastern has revealed its latest financial reports for the half-year, announcing a severe decline for both its total weighted new sales (TWNS) and new business embedded value (NBEV).

For the second quarter of 2023, Great Eastern’s TWNS fell 39% against the same period a year ago, while its half year performance declined by 31% compared to the same period last year. Great Eastern noted that these downturns were offset by growth in the regular premium sales, especially in protection plans and whole life plans sold through the insurer’s core distribution channels.

The insurer attributed the TWNS decline to lower single premium sales from the Singapore market, a fall which has resulted in an NBEV falloff of 9% for Q2 and 10% for H1, equal to SG$181.5 million and SG$351.2 million, respectively. That said, NBEV margins have improved for both Q2 and H1 due to a more favourable product mix towards protection plans in Singapore and Malaysia.

Despite the negatives, Great Eastern said that its business lines remain resilient, with steady growth in new customer count. Across its group, the total new customer base for the insurer grew by over 150,000 in the first half of 2023.

Great Eastern also confirmed its adoption of SFRS (I) 17 standards since Jan. 1, with accommodations made for stakeholders for its H1 report. Capital adequacy ratios of the group’s subsidiaries across Singapore and Malaysia remain strong and well above their respective minimum regulatory levels.

“While the global business landscape continues to be volatile and uncertain, we remain operationally agile to execute our growth plan and deliver long-term sustainable value for our stakeholders,” Great Eastern group CEO Khor Hock Seng said. “During the first half of the year, we implemented several key initiatives across our markets with customer-centricity in mind, including a first-in-market multi-generation income product under our Conventional Life Business in Malaysia to support our customers’ legacy planning needs. Our Family Takaful Business continued to focus on growing and strengthening our financial representatives’ footprint to expand our customer reach.”

Elsewhere for the group, Great Eastern is reportedly in negotiations to acquire MetLife’s Malaysian business, AmMetLife Insurance, according to several sources close to the matter.

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