Among Asian reinsurers in the list of Top 50 world's largest reinsurance groups, growth was primarily driven by General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re) in 2016, says the international rating agency, A.M. Best, in its global reinsurance review.
“Among the Asian companies on the list, GIC Re of India grew very strongly, owing to the country’s government-sponsored crop insurance programme coupled with relatively weak solvency capital as its cedents,” the report said.
State-owned GIC Re posted an 87% growth in its gross premium to US$5.2 billion in FY17 compared to FY16, on the back of a big jump in the government-backed crop insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Net profit jumped by 10% rise for the financial year ended 31 March 2017. The reinsurer posted after-tax profit of INR31.27 billion in FY17 as compared to INR28.48 billion posted in FY16.
However, the report also says that GIC Re is likely to grow at a slower pace over the short term. It says that growth in the company’s top-line may face strong hurdles, given that more foreign reinsurers have opened branches in India recently.
Swiss Re overtakes Munich Re
Another highlight of the report is that Swiss Re took over as the world's biggest reinsurer with gross premiums of $35.6 billion, compared to Munich Re's $33.1 billion.
The change in the No 1 position was the first for any of the top three spots since 2010, with Hannover Re continuing to rank No 3. Falling out of the top 10 was PartnerRe and Everest Re. Joining the top 10 were Korean Re and Great West Lifeco.
“Ultimately, the takeaway should be that Swiss Re and Munich Re are the reinsurance market’s undisputed largest and most influential players. Both have roughly double the premium volume of their closest competitors, offer similar capacity across nearly all reinsurance products and geographies and have been the market leaders for well over a decade,” said A.M. Best Senior Director Robert DeRose.
The 2017 ranking is based on reinsurance gross premiums written in the previous year, with the top 10 comprising approximately 70% of the top 50 total.
The rankings and gross reinsurance premiums of Asian reinsurers are:
|Ranking in 2017
||Ranking in 2016
||Gross Premiums 2016 US$ million
||Gross Premiums 2015 US$ million
||Sompo Japan Nipponkoa