Jul 2013

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Asia: Six regulators adopt commitment to inclusive insurance

Representatives of six Asian insurance regulatory authorities - from Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam - have adopted The Cebu Declaration on Inclusive Insurance, which recognises the challenges to providing risk protection to low-income individuals and enjoins the signatories to promote inclusive insurance markets in their respective countries.

Asia: S&P's revised criteria's ratings on six reinsurers

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has applied its revised ratings criteria for insurers during its review of the ratings on six reinsurance companies based in Asia-Pacific and their related parents and subsidiaries.

Australian life sector sees 10-year-high lapse rates

Life insurers have estimated that policy lapse rates have increased to a 10-year high of 15% today from 12.5% five years ago. The higher lapse rates are due to more people deciding to reduce their insurance covers or cancelling their policies altogether.

Bangladesh: Microinsurance for masses launched

Grameenphone, Bangladesh's leading telecommunications company, has introduced "Nirvoy Life Insurance," a first of its kind product which rewards Grameenphone subscribers with free life insurance cover based on the amount of airtime used each month.

China: Munich Re nurtures future talent

In a bid to nurture future talent within a growing local insurance industry and find the best and brightest potential staff members, Munich Re's Life team in Beijing organised the "Munich Re Cup - 2013 National College Student Actuarial Mathematics Competition" at eight locations across China.

China: Foreign players' market share to quadruple over next five years

Foreign players currently hold just about 1% of the market share in China, but as deregulation opens up the market, Ernst & Young forecast that the non-domestic insurers' market share could quadruple to 4% over the next five years.

China: AIG, PICC Life sign agency distribution JV deal

AIG and PICC Life have entered into a joint venture agreement to form an agency distribution company in China. The two insurers plan to commence operations of the joint venture by the first quarter of 2014 and the exact timeline is subject to regulatory approval.

Hong Kong: Premiums soar 15% to US$9.3 bln in 1Q

Total gross premiums of the Hong Kong insurance industry in the first quarter of 2013 amounted to HK$72.4 billion (US$9.3 billion), representing a 15.2% y-o-y increase, said the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance in their recent release of the island's provisional statistics.

India: GIC Re plans major worldwide expansion

India's national reinsurer, the public sector General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re) is now planning to make forays into major international markets and is looking to form strategic alignments in South Africa, up-grade its status in Brazil, enhance its presence in the SAARC region in South Asia and also have a presence in the Lloyd's market in London.

Indonesia: Non-life sees net profits jump 22% in 2012

Non-life insurers in Indonesia chalked up IDR4.8 trillion (US$490 million) in net profits in 2012, an increase of 21.9% y-o-y, on the back of higher operating and investment incomes, said the Association of Indonesian General Insurance (AAUI).

Japan: Insurers attracted by increased yields of govt bonds

Although Japanese life insurers had said in April that they might boost their foreign bond holdings to seek higher returns, they are now signalling they may not be looking at overseas investments as Japanese government bond yields are starting to pick up.

Malaysia: Labuan Financial Centre sees record insurance newcomers in 2012

The Labuan International Business and Financial Centre recorded 29 licence approvals last year - the highest number in the past five years. The majority of these licences were issued to insurance brokers and captive insurers.

Philippines: Over 80 insurers jostle over US$1.35 bln non-life market

Over 80 insurers are fighting for a very small pie of the non-life market's PHP56 billion (US$1.34 billion) premiums, said the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA).

Singapore: Life insurers to revise returns assumed for sales illustration

All life insurers in Singapore will adopt a set of lower investment returns - 4.75% per annum and 3.25% per annum - for use in the benefit illustrations for Singapore-dollar denominated participating policies.

Singapore regulator opens first rep office in Asia in Beijing

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has officially opened its Beijing Representative Office, its first representative office in Asia, so as to further strengthen bilateral collaboration with the People's Bank of China (PBC), as well as other Chinese financial authorities including CIRC, China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

Taiwan insurers to be allowed to invest in infrastructure projects

The Executive Yuan, Taiwan's Cabinet, will be easing regulations to let insurers invest in infrastructure projects, as part of a broader package to boost the economy, which has been hurt by weak global demand.

Taiwan: Possible new business in long-term care market

Insurers in Taiwan are looking forward to the prospect that the government could classify long-term care (LTC) industry as a profession, thereby allowing them to offer coverage to the sector.

Thailand: Premiums increase 20.7% to US$5.2 bln in 1Q

Total gross premiums of the Thai insurance industry soared 20.7% y-o-y in the first quarter of the year to reach THB159.34 billion (US$5.21 billion) on the back of greater public awareness, said Mr Pravej Ongartsittigul, Secretary-General the Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC).

Vietnam: Insurers suffer losses from pilot farm insurance scheme

An agricultural insurance pilot scheme which was designed to stabilise the livelihood of farmers has led to losses for insurers involved in the scheme.