IAG hits the brakes on its Asian growth ambitions

IAG hits the brakes on its Asian growth ambitions | Insurance Business

IAG hits the brakes on its Asian growth ambitions
A Sydney-based insurance giant has shifted its focus to business opportunities back home after its plans for Asian expansion met with unattractive offshore investment conditions.

At the company'’s annual general meeting in Sydney, Insurance Australia Group (IAG) said it had put its Asian growth ambitions on hold after an 18-month search for investment opportunities in markets including Thailand, Malaysia, and India bore no results.

Peter Harmer, IAG CEO and managing director, said “it is unlikely we will make further investments in Asia in the short term,” and would instead focus on building its core markets of Australia and New Zealand, Australian Associated Press reported.

When Harmer took the helm at IAG in 2015, the company was predicting that its Asian businesses would provide the company with 10% of its total revenue by 2016 – an outcome that was not realised, with the operations only yielding the company 4% of its total revenue in 2016 and just 3% in the last financial year.

In the year to June 30, IAG’s Asian businesses continued to underperform amid increasing competition and tightening regulatory conditions, posting a $10m profit – a plunge from the previous year’s $26m.

The IAG boss said the company expected low single-digit growth in gross written premiums for 2017-18, AFR reported.

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