A building of Great Eastern Holdings Ltd in Singapore. (Photo: Business Times)
Singapore-based Great Eastern Holdings Ltd has sold its Vietnam business to FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Ltd, a unit of Hong Kong
’s Pacific Century Group, for S$48.2 million ($35.2 million) in cash after nine years of operation in the country.
The value of the deal is higher than the Vietnam unit’s net book value of S$47.5 million as of May 31, The Strait Times cited Great Eastern’s filing to the Singapore Exchange as saying on June 7.
The sale, which will be completed by June 21, will result in a loss upon disposal due to the realization of accumulated foreign exchange translation losses, said Great Eastern.
The decision on the disposal was made after a “comprehensive strategic review”, said Great Eastern CEO Khor Hock Seng, adding that the group will increase its focus on its core markets of Singapore and Malaysia, as well as Indonesia and Brunei.
He pledged to “ensure a smooth transition for our customers and our employees” in Vietnam and the buyer FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Ltd will “honor all in-force policies.”
Vietnam is home to 17 life insurers whose combined sales increased 29.5% year-on-year to 36.65 trillion dong ($1.63 billion) in 2015, according to data of Vietnam’s Finance Ministry.
Foreign players AIA, Dai-ichi, Manulife
and Vietnamese giant Bao Viet Insurance made up more than three fourths of the life insurance market.