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NEWS UPDATES 7 August 2009

Philippine insurer sees steady industry growth

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The life-insurance industry in the Philippines is expected to post a modest growth of between 8 percent and 10 percent in total premiums this year, rebounding from the double-digit contraction in 2008, a local business daily reported, quoting an industry player.

“This growth is significant when seen in light of the 34-percent contraction of the entire industry last year,” said Vicente Ayllon, the chairman and CEO of the Insular Life Assurance Co.

Ayllon predicted a steady climb in performance for the life-insurance sector underpinned by the improvement in financial-market and economic conditions.

Insular, the largest Filipino-owned life insurer established in 1910, managed to post a 36-percent growth in first-year premium—or the premium falling due the first year the policy is in force—for the first half of 2009, he said.

For this year the insurer, which owns about a fifth of the Aboitiz-controlled Union Bank of the Philippines, is aiming to hit the P7-billion mark in total premiums.

“Our goal is to bring us back to or even [generate total premiums] in excess of our 2007 performance,” said executive vice president Jesus Alfonso Hofilena.

Insular, he said, was “well-positioned” to achieve the target given that the second half of the year normally sees better results for the company than the first half.


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