Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/18/2012 -- The Hong Kong Insurance Report considers the prospects for both life and non-life insurers in the Special Administrative Region. As of mid-2012, the news-flow continues to highlight Hong Kong's position as a large, rapidly growing and dynamic market for both non-life and life insurance. The coming months are likely to see the establishment of the new Independent Insurance Authority, as the successor to the. The other protagonists include the local subsidiaries of many of the world's leading (re)insurance companies. Although they differ widely in their areas of interest and business models, almost all are able to achieve substantial economies of scale in their operations across the Asia Pacific region as a whole.
In the non-life segment, growth is being driven by the economic expansion of China (for which Hong Kong is a crucial services centre); the general development of the Asia Pacific region; pricing discipline in what is quite a fragmented market; new regulations (such as those that require apartment block owners' corporations to take out liability cover); and initiatives undertaken by particular companies. In relation to the last of these factors, marine insurers, for instance, are looking for new opportunities from the further development of Hong Kong as a trading port. Health insurance premiums are being boosted by demographics, given that the population is ageing. A key development in the recent past has been the purchase in early March 2012, by AXA and QBE respectively, of the Hong Kong non-life insurance operations of HSBC Insurance and Hang Seng Insurance.
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The ongoing expansion of the life segment is partly a reflection of investor confidence. It is also testament to the inventiveness of life insurers in two ways: the development of attractive new products; and the promotion of efficiency in distribution particularly, but not only, through banks via bancassurance arrangements and agents. Yuan-denominated life products, and sales of life insurance to mainland visitors, continue to grow in importance.
Over the last quarter, BMI has made the following changes:
- The report incorporates provisional statistics published by the OCI in mid-March 2012, in relation to calendar 2011.
- The departure of HSBC Insurance and Hang Seng Insurance from the non-life segment in Hong Kong (and elsewhere), which was announced in early March 2012, is explained.
- The analysis incorporates a considerable amount of detailed comments published by the major life insurers - in some cases, in relation to Q112.
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