Insurance companies lower their expectations from financial activities

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 More recently, when Bao Minh Insurance (BMI) approved their business plan for 2013, revenue from their financial activities was predicted to fall by 30 percent to 168 billion dong. The company also has plans to restructure its portfolio and focus on non-life insurance. Targets for 2013 premium and reinsurance revenues have increased by 8 and 8.4 percent respectively and revenues are expected to rise by between 5.5 percent to 2.9 trillion dong.

PetroVietnam Insurance (PVI) also expects to see revenue from their 2013 financial activities fall by 30 percent to 563 billion dong. PVI forecasts an increase of 12 percent to 6.27 trillion dong, which would result in a total revenue increase of between 9.4 percent to 6.83 trillion dong.

Similarly, Posts and Telecommunications Insurance (PTI) dropped their expected revenue from investment and other activities by 33 percent to 70 billion dong, and accordingly, the resulting profits should be 16 percent less, down to 54.2 billion dong.

According to many insurance experts, financial benefits would no longer sustain insurance companies’ business outcomes as deposit interest rates and the yield on government bonds has become very low. In 2012, the total profit from the financial activities of non-life insurance policies dropped by 11 percent to 1.7 trillion dong. Since the benefits of insurance operations had shown some positive signs, the total loss from insurance activities was 162 billion dong compared to the 195 billion dong loss in 2011.

On the other hand, some companies were still able to keep their 2013 targeted revenues equal to 2012 levels and they all had the same strategy: focus more on insurance activities.

Vietnam National Reinsurance Corporation (VNR) expects to have a net benefit increase in 2013 between 2.5 times to 97 billion dong and benefits from investment should remain at 263 billion dong.

Meanwhile, the Petrolimex Insurance Company (PJICo) has targeted doubling its profits from direct insurance to 10 billion dong from 5.5 billion dong, as in 2012. The expected revenue from financial activities has remained at 125 billion dong.

Competition in the insurance market has improved since earlier this year with many companies increasing their premiums instead of lowering them to attract more customers, said Trinh Quang Tuyen, Chair of VNR.

VNR was unusual in that it planned to cut revenues so it could give their customers an increase in benefits. This was the result of their quality improvement strategy for insurance contracts.

In 2013, at the BIDV Insurance Company (BIC) annual meeting, company chiefs said that in their deposit portfolio, long term contacts played a major part, and would still enjoy a high interest rate before maturing. Hence a decrease in interest rates would not have much effect on their financial activities. The full details were not clear but BIC planned to increase its total revenue by 10 percent and benefit by 12.7 percent in 2013.