Great Eastern sells Vietnam business to FWD Group

Added 8th June 2016

FWD Group, the insurance arm of Asia-based Pacific Century Group, has secured regulatory approval to buy Great Eastern Life’s Vietnamese business for S$48.2bn (£24.5bn, $35.6bn, €32.3bn).

Great Eastern sells Vietnam business to FWD Group

The acquisition marks FWD’s second new market entry this year, following the majority acquisition of Singapore-based group medical provider Shenton Insurance in April.

Great Eastern Life Vietnam will be wholly-owned by FWD and will be rebranded once the sale is completed on, or around, 21 June.

The acquisition extends FWD’s existing network of Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

FWD offers life and medical insurance, employee benefits, and general insurance across a number of markets.  

Strategic milestone

Huynh Thanh Phong, FWD group chief executive, said: “The move into Vietnam will be an important strategic milestone for FWD’s southeast Asian ambitions, as we expand our reach into underserved markets across the region to realise our vision to become a leading pan-Asian insurer that changes the way people feel about insurance.

“The economic transformation of Vietnam has been remarkable, and coupled with low insurance penetration, we see great opportunity in the Vietnamese market for a new, Asian-born insurer to meet the protection needs of the Vietnamese people.”

Khor Hock Seng, group chief executive of Great Eastern Holdings, a subsidiary of OCBC Bank, said: “Our decision was made after a comprehensive strategic review. We will be increasing our focus to grow our core markets of Singapore and Malaysia where we are among the market leaders, as well as our business in Indonesia and Brunei.

“The divestment is not expected to have a material impact on the group’s financials,” the former FPI group chief executive added.  

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Kirsten Hastings

Senior Reporter

Kirsten is a senior reporter for International Adviser, covering global news stories about the financial services industry. She joined Last Word Media in October 2015 after two years working as a reporter covering the staffing and recruitment industry. Kirsten has a Masters in Financial Journalism from the University of Stirling. 

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