Manulife Vietnam leads the market in new contracts for the first time

| 22 Sep 2020

Fierce competition in Vietnam's life insurance market is expected to become stiffer. In the booming market which has tripled its revenue in the past five years, competition is stiff among the country's top three life insurers.

In terms of new contracts, Manulife Vietnam led the market for the first time with a 17.7% share, followed by Bao Viet Holdings with 16.49% and Prudential Vietnam with 15.78%. The latter two have taken turns to lead the market in recent years, reported VnExpress citing data from the Ministry of Finance.

Vietnam had 18 life insurance companies with combined premium revenues of VND106.6tn ($4.6bn) last year, an increase of 24% year-on-year and 2.8 times since 2015. Industry insiders say competition is expected to become keener in coming years.

Canadian insurer Manulife has in recent years been seeking to increase bancassurance sales. It signed an exclusive bancassurance contract with leading private lender Techcombank in 2017. The company has reportedly emerged as the leading bidder for the Vietnamese operations of British insurer Aviva. The deal, if successful, would allow it to sell its products via VietinBank, one of Vietnam's four large state-owned lenders.

State-owned Bao Viet Holdings, the second largest insurer, saw its share of new contracts drop by 4.4% percentage points between 2016 and last year. The company, in which the Ministry of Finance holds a 65% stake, has not sealed any major bancassurance deals and relies on traditional channels.

Prudential Vietnam has seen revenues fall in recent years since being overtaken by Bao Viet in 2017. Company executives said they have been focusing on experienced employees instead of rushing to recruit new ones.

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