Hong Kong still has room for insurance newcomers

Population shifts and increased affluence spur demand for insurance products and market growth

Hong Kong still has room for insurance newcomers

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

While the Hong Kong insurance market may seem packed due to its growth over the past few years, a financial group believes that there are still opportunities for newcomers to take hold there, due to the expanding middle class in Asia, especially in mainland China.

As people become wealthier, demand for life insurance and pension products in the Hong Kong market grows, according to Tay Keng Puang, MassMutual Asia CEO and managing director.

“The market is very competitive as there are many insurance companies in Hong Kong,” Tay told the South China Morning Post. “But we believe offering the right protection and retirement products will always attract clients to buy. This has helped the company to grow well in the past two decades.”

He added that the future prospects of the life insurance and retirement pensions sectors are good due to increasing wealth and population ageing in Asia.

Another positive factor Tay cited was the business environment of Hong Kong which was conducive to insurers’ growth.

“Since the handover in 1997, a lot of uncertainties have been removed,” Tay was quoted by SCMP. “That’s been important for overseas companies to invest in Hong Kong. The city, which is located next to mainland China and gained support from the central government, has given confidence to foreign investors to invest,”

MassMutual Asia began in 1994 as Lippo Protective Life Insurance. It underwent a rebranding after acquisition by US-based insurer MassMutual Financial Group in 2000 as part of its Asian expansion plans.

The insurer’s annual business sales was at HKD2.1 billion (US$269 million) in 2016, 15 times higher than its 1997 sales of HKD140 million (US$18 million).

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