Singapore / London: Aviva, Britain’s no.2 insurer, said on Friday it will re-enter the Asian general insurance market five years after selling its non-life operations there, with Singapore becoming its first market in the region.
European and US insurers are keen to expand their presence in Asia, seen as one of the world’s fastest-growing financial services markets, thanks to rising household incomes on the back of strong economic growth.
“Our entry into Singapore marks the first step in our plan to penetrate the rapidly expanding general insurance market in Asia,” Simon Machel, CEO of Aviva Asia Pacific, said in a statement.
Aviva quit the Asian general insurance market in 2005 when it sold its non-life operations in the region to Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance for $450 million.
The British insurer’s decision to launch a new Asian general insurance business comes after a non-compete agreement with Mitsui Sumitomo expired earlier this year.
“The company will quickly increase its portfolio of products to include home and travel insurance,” Aviva said. Machel declined to name the next countries the firm would expand into.
Prudential, Britain’s biggest insurer effectively staked its future in the region with a $35.5 billion bid for the Asian operations of bailed out US insurer AIG, in what would be the insurance sector’s biggest ever takeover.