Samsung Life eyes 20% stake in Vietnam-based Bao Viet Life: Report

The life insurance unit of South Korean conglomerate Samsung is seeking to acquire a stake in Vietnam-based Bao Viet Life, according to the Korea Times.

Samsung Life revealed to the publication that it was in talks to acquire part of Bao Viet Life’s shares without divulging details of the investment.

“There are hurdles to be addressed regarding some legal issues with the Vietnamese government,” the Korea Times report said, quoting a Samsung Life spokesperson.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Samsung Life is planning to purchase about 20 per cent of the largest Vietnamese life insurer.

Bao Viet Life recorded a 32.5 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue in 2018, reaching VND29.34 trillion (nearly $1.34 billion). It continued to lead the local life insurance market with an estimated 18.6 per cent market share by the end of the third quarter last year.

The firm has set a target of 20 per cent growth in 2019. Bao Viet Life is wholly owned by Bao Viet Holdings, a $2.9 billion listed financial group.

While Bao Viet Life has never offered its shares to foreign shareholders before, the Vietnam life insurance market has attracted a lot of international investors.

Recent deals have seen overseas firms set up their wholly-owned units in the country through acquisitions of remaining stakes of local joint venture partners, including Mirae Asset Life Insurance and Previor Vietnam, Aviva Group and Vietinbank Aviva, and Sun Life Assurance and PVI Sun Life.

There were about 18 active life insurance companies in Vietnam, of which only Bao Viet Life has no foreign ownership, according to the Vietnam Insurance Association in 2018.

The non-life insurance segment in Vietnam has also captured interest from Korean investors. Most recently, Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance has agreed to buy 25 per cent shares of Vietinbank Insurance, while KB Insurance was said to acquire a 17 per cent stake in Bao Minh Insurance.

Also read:

Hyundai’s non-life insurance arm to acquire 25% of Vietinbank Insurance

KB Insurance to buy 17% of Bao Minh

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.