Vietnamese insurers seek to increase foreign ownership

Insurers clamouring for more foreign capital to improve ratings and fund expansion drives

Vietnamese insurers seek to increase foreign ownership

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Several insurers in Vietnam want to increase foreign ownership in their companies, in some instances even aiming for 100%, in a bid to improve their ratings and fuel their expansion efforts.

During Bao Minh Insurance’s (BMI) 2017 annual shareholders meeting, it was reported that a shareholder asked to increase the foreign ownership ceiling to 100%, but Le Song Lai, a member of the company’s board of directors, said the issue needs thorough consideration and government approval.

However, the two top foreign shareholders in BMI – AXA and First Land Co. – have said that they have no plans to increase their holdings in the insurer.

“First Land is optimistic about the Vietnam insurance market and will increase the ownership ratio once opportunities come,” a representative of First Land was quoted as saying by VietnamNet. The firm holds 5.65% of BMI, while French multinational insurer AXA holds 16.65%.

As for general insurer PVI Holdings, its shareholders have already approved raising the foreign ownership to 100%. PetroVietnam, the state-owned oil and gas company, will need government approval for its plan to divest from PVI.

Foreign entities currently own 49% of PVI, with HDI Global SE as top shareholder with 37.6%.

“PVI really wants to have foreign shareholders. After five years of undergoing restructuring (2011-2016), PVI has become a company with large-scale activities in the financial sector thanks to the important contribution of HDI Global,” said Ulrich Heinz Wollschlager, finance director of HDI Global.

Related stories:
Vietnam insurance income grows 21% for 1H 2017
Mirae Asset Insurance to invest in Vietnamese insurer
Domestic insurer welcomes competition from foreign entities

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