Ageas to establish a joint venture in Vietnam branded MB Ageas Life

Ageas and Muang Thai Life Assurance have signed an agreement with Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (“Military Bank”) to establish a joint venture in Vietnam, which will be branded MB Ageas Life.

BRUSSELS, 10-8-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — Under the agreement, Ageas will have an equity shareholding of 29% in the new company1, Muang Thai Life Assurance 10%, and Military Bank 61%. It was further agreed that Military Bank and MB Ageas Life will enter into a 15-year exclusive bancassurance agreement. The total capital investment for the three partners will amount to around EUR 46 million2.

MB Ageas Life’s ambition is to become a premier bancassurance company in Vietnam. MB Ageas Life will also set up a high quality agency distribution network. The joint venture will benefit from Military Bank’s network of 217 branches with more than 2 million customers while leveraging the insurance expertise of Ageas and Muang Thai Life.

Mr. Luu Trung Thai, Vice Chairman of Military Bank said: “As a top 3 private sector bank by assets in Vietnam and one of the most effective banks in the country, Military Bank has become a trusted partner of major financial institutions worldwide. According to our business strategy, we are committed to developing life insurance services as part of our comprehensive financial services products to our clients. We are pleased to select Ageas and Muang Thai Life as our strategic partners who have demonstrated track record in bancassurance. Given our established and stable customer network nationwide and our partners’ extensive expertise in life insurance, we do look forward to the sustainable success of this joint venture in Vietnam.”

Mr. Gary Crist, CEO of Ageas Asia: “Asia has been, and will continue to be, a key strategic region for Ageas. We are firmly committed to Asia, especially to growth market opportunities like Vietnam where the life insurance market is attractive thanks to a low penetration rate of 0.6% as percentage of GDP and increasing acceptance of insurance amongst a population of 90 million people. In Military Bank we have found alignment in core values, as well as common interests and mutual respect, which is fundamental in a successful partnership. Military Bank is a highly professionally managed financial institution. We are very excited about this new partnership in Vietnam. And to do this alongside Muang Thai Life, our Life insurance partner in Thailand for over 10 years, marks another impressive milestone with unparalleled precedent in the market. We are committed to delivering another market leading Life insurance joint-venture in Asia.”

Mr. Sara Lamsam, CEO & President of Muang Thai Life Assurance PCL added: “Being the CEO of the ‘Life Insurance Company of the Year in Asia’, I feel proud to join our long term partner Ageas in this joint venture with Military Bank. Muang Thai Life has always been keen to unlock the insurance potential in the ASEAN markets and this is a big step-forward. With the value-adding contributions from Ageas, Muang Thai Life has been a solid no.1 in bancassurance in Thailand since January 2013. We look forward to sharing and transferring our expertise in the field to make this joint venture with Military Bank a leading and successful life insurance company in Vietnam.”

Subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of this year and MB Ageas Life is expected to commence operations in 2016.

Ageas is an international insurance group with a heritage spanning 190 years. Ranked among the top 20 insurance companies in Europe, Ageas has chosen to concentrate its business activities in Europe and Asia, which together make up the largest share of the global insurance market. These are grouped around four segments: Belgium, United Kingdom, Continental Europe and Asia and served through a combination of wholly owned subsidiaries and partnerships with strong financial institutions and key distributors around the world. Ageas operates successful partnerships in Belgium, the UK, Luxembourg, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, China, Malaysia, India, Thailand and the Philippines and has subsidiaries in France, Portugal, Hong Kong and the UK. Ageas is the market leader in Belgium for individual life and employee benefits, as well as a leading Non-Life player through AG Insurance. In the UK, Ageas occupies the number 3 position in cars insured and has a strong presence in the over 50’s market.Ageas employs more than 13,000 people in the consolidated entities and over 30,000 in the non-consolidated partnerships, and has reported annual inflows close to EUR 26 billion in 2014.

Established on 4 November 1994 with an initial capital of less than VND20 billion, Military Bank has rapidly developed into a leading bank in Vietnam with current capital of VND11,594 billion, providing comprehensive financial services for both retail and corporate customers through its nationwide network of 217 branches. Military Bank has successfully implemented its development strategy during 2011 to 2015. Its vision to 2020 is to strengthen all its operations and to become a top three private sector bank as well as one of the most effective banks in the country. Military Bank’s success is highly recognized by different local and international institutions with the receipt of a number of high profile awards including World Class by Asia Pacific Quality Organisation – APQO; Best Domestic Bank of Vietnam by Asia Money; Strongest Bank in Vietnam 2014 by Asian Bankers; Top 50 Best Listed Companies in Vietnam by Forbes; Top 50 High-Performing Companies in Vietnam by Investment Link

Muang Thai Life Assurance Public Company Limited was founded in 1951 to provide life insurance service to the public with integrity and strong solvency throughout these years. We continue to initiate the service innovation beyond our customer’s expectation and expand our market through a variety of distribution channels to reinforce the success of our multi-distribution strategy. We also have a policy to share our profits with the society via different activities that help support the society in all aspects, be it education, environment, religion, etc. As confirmation of the Company’s strength, Muang Thai Life Assurance received credit ratings from Fitch Ratings at A- (Outlook Stable) and AAA (tha) (Outlook Stable) and from Standard & Poor’s at BBB+ (Outlook Stable) and axA+ (ASEAN), plus the ISO 9001:2008 certification. In addition, the Company had received the Life Insurance Company of the Year 2014 award and 1st prize under the category of Corporate Social Responsibility in 2013 from the Asia Insurance Industry Awards. All these brought Muang Thai Life Assurance Public Company Limited to the leading position in Thai life insurance industry and reflect our positioning in the public’s mind. The Company would never stop at contributing to promote a good standard of living in Thai society and to put cheerful smiles on all Thai people’s faces.

1 Ageas will also have an indirect shareholding  of 3.1% in the new company via Muang Thai Life Assurance
2 All shareholders will contribute in proportion to their shareholding. This represents a capital investment for Ageas of  ~EUR 13.4 million, Muang Thai Life Assurance of ~ EUR 4.6 million, and Military Bank of ~ EUR 28 million.

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