Aug 2013

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Asia: Emerging Asia remains world's fastest growing non-life market

Emerging Asia continued to be the fastest growing non-life insurance market globally in 2012, with a strong premium increase of 13% (2011: 10%), supported by robust growth in key markets, says Swiss Re in its "World Insurance in 2012" sigma report.

Asia: Risk diversification will not suffice in the long run

Although insurers have come to deal with the disparity in expected loss and the high probability of it through risk diversification, that will not suffice in the long run, as insurers' peak risks keep growing and diversifying risks becomes more difficult, said Mr Michel Dacorogna, SCOR's Group Deputy Chief Risk Officer, at the Insurance Risk Research Conference 2013 held in Singapore recently.

Asia: Strengthening distribution model tops strategic priority for insurers

Improving their distribution model is the leading priority for 31% of insurers in Asia, as they note demographic trends are resulting in a refinement in segmentation of customers and customer needs, according to the 2013 State Street Insurance Survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Australia: Nat CATs could cost over US$21 bln a year by 2050

The cost of natural disasters in Australia will rise to around A$23 billion (US$21.2 billion) a year in 2050, or nearly four times the A$6.3 billion a year seen currently, as population density increases and the severity and frequency of storms, floods, cyclones and bushfires grow, said the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities in a white paper it released recently.

Bangladesh: Risk management a must for safe business continuity

Marsh has called for robust oversight efforts, greater visibility, increased vigilance and continuous improvement to prevent incidents like the recent Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 people.

China: RGA receives preparatory licence from CIRC

RGA Reinsurance Company has received a preparatory licence from CIRC to operate as a licensed life reinsurance branch in China. The branch office is expected to begin full operation in one year's time.

China: BNP Paribas forms JV with Bank of Beijing

BNP Paribas Cardif is entering the Chinese insurance market by acquiring the 50% stake held by ING Group in ING-BoB Life, the latter's life insurance JV with Bank of Beijing.

Hong Kong: Japanese group acquires 15% stake in local underwriting agency

Cosmos Services, a subsidiary of ITOCHU Corporation - a leading general trading company in Japan - has acquired a 15% stake in SART Holdings, the Hong Kong-based business of London-headquartered Aquila Underwriting.

India: Industry to focus on analytics

IRDA plans to use analytics in the industry for better structuring and pricing of policies. Analytics can help insurers deliver insight and enable flexibility, thereby allowing them to intelligently plot and identify trends and in turn make reliable predictions about the future.

Indonesia: Regulator to establish insurance rating & stats agency

The Financial Services Authority will be setting up an insurance rating and statistics agency to determine the premium benchmark for the insurance industry.

Japan: Prudential plc to sell closed-book life insurance business for US$85 mln

Prudential plc has announced it will sell its Japan-based closed-book life insurance business, PCA Life Japan, to local internet-based financial conglomerate SBI Holdings for US$85 million, subject to regulatory approval.

South Korea: Regulator to widen income probe to insurers

The Financial Supervisory Service will extend an ongoing probe into bank executives' high incomes to executives at insurance companies and brokerage houses in a bid to find out whether they have conformed to the rules of the performance-based pay system.

Malaysia: Islamic Financial Services Act comes into force

The Financial Services Act 2013 (FSA) and Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 (IFSA) came into force in Malaysia in July, more than seven months after Parliament approved the Acts in December 2012.

Malaysia: Uni.Asia Life teams up with Bank of China for banc product

Customers of professional overdraft facilities and housing loans from Bank of China (Malaysia) will now obtain life insurance coverage from Uni.Asia Life following a business collaboration between both parties for a new bancassurance product.

Macau: Insurers saw net profits triple last year

The Macau insurance industry saw its net profit surge to new heights in 2012, reaching MOP590 million (US$74 million), or nearly three times the 2011 profit, on higher investment gains.

Myanmar: AIA opens rep office in Yangon

AIA has opened a representative office in Yangon to offer consultancy services.

Philippines: Industry body, govt working on CAT model

The Philippine Insurers & Reinsurers Association (PIRA) is collaborating with three government institutions on disaster research to establish a CAT model for the country.

Singapore to replace Switzerland as top finance hub by 2015

Singapore will dethrone Switzerland in the next two years as the world's top centre for managing international funds as a global tax crackdown and tighter regulation weaken the latter's appeal to investors, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' Global Private Banking and Wealth Management Survey.

Singapore: Regulator hopes financial advisers will be viewed as professionals

Speaking at a local financial advisers' annual congress, Ms Merlyn Ee, Executive Director and Head of the Capital Markets Intermediaries Department of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said her vision for the financial advisory (FA) industry in Singapore is for financial advisers to be viewed as professionals, just like lawyers and engineers, with their own code of conduct and high standards of practice.

Taiwan: Typhoon Soulik's agri losses exceed US$38 mln

Typhoon Soulik, which struck Taiwan last month, caused estimated agricultural losses of over NT$1.15 billion (US$38.5 million), according to the Council of Agriculture (COA).

Thailand: Life sector to grow by 17% this year

The life sector will grow at about 17% this year despite signs that the economy will slow in the second half, said the Thai Life Assurance Association to a local paper.