News eDaily21 Nov 2017

ASEAN insurers told to be nimble amid uncertainty

| 21 Nov 2017

Insurers in Southeast Asia need to stay flexible and well-diversified in order to generate growth in an increasingly volatile and uncertain setting, said speakers at the 11th ASEAN Insurance Congress held in Laos yesterday. Insurers in Southeast Asia need to stay flexible and well-diversified in order to generate growth in an increasingly volatile and uncertain setting, said speakers at the 11th ASEAN Insurance Congress held in Laos yesterday.

Insurance companies are operating in a complex environment, with the fintech onslaught and the impending changes with the new IFRS 17 accounting standards among some of the main challenges, said Mr Hassan Scott Odierno, Partner, Actuarial Partners Consulting.

He added that as it becomes harder to predict future scenarios, both insurers and regulators need to stay nimble and adaptable to a constantly changing environment.

Ms Kitty Ching, President, Taiwan Insurance Institute, added that capacity building among regulators is critical in the current state of constant change.

With a continually shifting environment, insurers would also need to diversify their lines of business as those which may not be performing may need to be replaced, said Mr Lim Kean Hin, Group Chief Financial Officer, Thai Life Insurance.

Referring to the host nation Laos and other similar frontier insurance markets, Mr Allen Thai, General Manager, Prudential Company (Lao), said the lack of a legacy system gives these markets the potential to leapfrog into the future without the burden of migrating systems or standards.

This year, Laos plays host to the 43rd ASEAN Insurance Council Annual Meeting and the 20th ASEAN Insurance Regulators’ Meeting. Dr Sonephet Inthavong, Deputy Director General of State-Owned Enterprise Management & Insurance Department, Ministry of Finance Laos, had earlier welcomed delegates to the event and lauded the opportunity for capacity building and knowledge sharing to help develop the nascent Laotian insurance sector. 

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