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Recently Released Market Study: Singapore Insurance Report Q4 2012

New Financial Services research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/31/2012 -- Key Insights And Key Risks

The Singapore Insurance Report considers the prospects for life and non-life insurers in the country. In world terms, Singapore ranks as a medium-sized market for (re) insurance that, in spite of being well developed by most metrics, will likely to grow quite rapidly through the forecast period. There are essentially three components to the sector. The first is a mature domestic non-life business - the Singapore insurance funds - in which premiums are growing at single digit rates. The second is a rapidly developing offshore non-life (re)insurance business. The non-life (re) insurers who are operating in/through Singapore are significant beneficiaries of the overall economic growth of South East Asia. The third is the dynamic life insurance segment, which has much in common with its counterpart in Hong Kong.

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In both city-states, life insurance premiums continue to grow strongly thanks to 'demand-related' and 'supply-related' factors. High income levels, high savings rates, widespread understanding of the benefits of life insurance and low interest rates from bank deposits ensure that households' demand for life insurance products continues to flourish. The importance of both Hong Kong and Singapore as regional business centres also underpins demand for group life products. Supply comes mainly from the local subsidiaries of world-class multi-national insurance companies. In both cases, the leading player is the subsidiary of a leading local commercial bank - HSBC Insurance in the case of Hong Kong and OCBC's Great Eastern in the case of Singapore. However, although both HSBC Insurance and Great Eastern would rank as extremely substantial life insurers in any market, they do not exercise crushing domination of their respective life segments. There remains the opportunity for other life companies to develop businesses through the introduction of innovative new products and/or focused distribution strategies.

The life insurance companies that have commented on their results in 2011 and H112 have indicated that there have been a number of growth drivers. Bancassurance is expanding very rapidly. Many of the insurers are enlarging their agency forces - or taking steps to boost agent productivity. Some of the players are introducing innovative new products. Group life products have been becoming more popular. For promoters of unit-linked products, volatility in global financial markets is more of a challenge than it was when we last reviewed Singapore's insurance sector three months ago. Over the long-term, the insurers have to also deal with low/falling interest rates.

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