Monday, March 12, 2012

Growth for top life players

■Ceylinco leads, Union Assurance best performer

■Combined premium tops Rs. 35 b mark, up by Rs. 4 b or 13% over 2010

■Allianz rises to number eight, beating Indian giant LIC

The Life insurance market has seen a near 13% growth last year with impressive growth for top players, whilst Ceylinco and Union Assurance shine with outstanding performance.

 The combined premium in Life insurance business of 13 players amounted to Rs. 35.13 billion, up by 12.79% or Rs. 4 billion over 2010. It is also interesting that top three saw contraction in market share whilst the balance 10 enjoyed an increase.

 As per provisional industry data obtained by the Daily FT, Ceylinco Life remains the undisputed leader in the long-term insurance market with 27.94% share in 2011, though marginally down from 28.21% in the previous year. However, Ceylinco Life has enjoyed a Rs. 1.03 billion or 11.74% growth in premium to Rs. 9.8 billion. Industry analysts said the market leader enjoying one billion plus growth was impressive amidst stiff competition.

 Among the top four, Union Assurance was the best performer in 2011. It not only saw premium grow by Rs. 1 billion or 29% to Rs. 4.47 billion, but was the sole player to enjoy the best growth rate in market share, up by 1.61% to 12.73% to be ranked number four. Its share in 2010 was 11.12%.

 Long term insurance market’s number two Aviva NDB saw the lowest percentage growth in terms of value up by only 1% or Rs. 82 million to Rs. 7.86 billion.

  Its market share dipped from 24.99% in 2010 to 22.39%. Despite the dip, it has retained the number two slot based on past growth.

 State giant SLIC, which many expected to narrow the gap in terms of market share, saw a contraction of 0.10% to 19.19% in 2011 from 19.29% in the previous year. However, its premium grew by 12.2% or Rs. 733 million to Rs. 6.74 billion.

 Janashakthi saw its market share improve marginally to 5.31% from 5.19% with premium growth of 10.7% or Rs. 180 million to finish 2011 with Rs. 1.86 billion. Asian Alliance on the other hand enjoyed a higher gain with premium up by Rs. 338 million or 27.2% to Rs. 1.58 billion. It finished 2011 with a market share of 4.50% up from 3.99% in 2010. Another insurer which saw higher growth than Janashakthi was HNB Assurance, up by Rs. 206 million or 19% to Rs. 1.29 billion, whilst its market share grew to 3.67% from 3.48%.

 Among noteworthy performance in the bottom of the league came from Allianz, which saw its premium grow by Rs. 146 million or a hefty 71.2% from a low base to finish 2011 with Rs. 351 million. Its market share improved by 0.34% from 0.66% to 1% last year and was ranked number eight. In the process it overtook Indian life giant LIC, which saw its premium improve by only Rs. 44 million to Rs. 296 million.

 Smaller local firms such as Sanasa, Amana Takaful and MBSL also enjoyed higher Life business growth than LIC. Amana saw its premium increase by Rs. 64 million or 26.7% to Rs. 304 whilst Sanasa improved by Rs. 63 million to Rs. 136 million.

 Cooperative Insurance, which was ranked ninth in 2010, dipped to 11th position as it saw the lowest growth value wise of Rs. 37 million to end 2011 at Rs. 269 million. The 16% growth percentage wise however was higher than top firms such as State giant SLIC and Aviva NDB.

 Signifying a healthy development, the overall Life market managed to maintain growth over the long-term unlike General insurance, which contracted in 2009 over 2008.

 Last month the Daily FT exclusively reported that as per provisional data, General insurance business grew by 20.8% to Rs. 45 billion with SLIC as the market leader and Continental Insurance as the fastest growing.

 Industry regulator Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL) will shortly publish official data on the 2011 performance.

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