Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, one of the largest insurers in Japan, will enter the Laos market by signing a comprehensive partnership agreement with Lao-Viet Insurance, the country’s second-largest non-life insurer.
Lao-Viet is a joint business of two state-owned banks from neighbouring ASEAN countries. The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam group has a 65% stake in the insurer, while Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public owns the remaining 35%.
Lao-Viet has a roughly 25% non-life insurance market share in Laos, amounting to US$44 million to US$61 million annually based on premium revenue.
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Sompo Japan will direct its Japanese and Thai clients to Lao-Viet, in addition to reinsuring Lao-Viet's policies. The partnership will initially offer fire, product liability, and construction insurance policies, before expanding to other products.
The partnership is seen as an avenue to achieve both companies’ goals, with Sompo Japan seeking to increase its presence in Southeast Asia, while Lao-Viet wanting to expand its customer base to include Japanese and other foreign businesses.
While Laos is considered a small market with a population of only 6 million, but its GDP has been growing rapidly at 7-8% annually.
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