Sri Lanka demographic changes excites insurer

Sept 04, 2008 (LBO) – Demographic changes in emerging Asian nations like Sri Lanka and rising prosperity is presenting new growth opportunities for insurers to grow and introduce increasingly sophisticated products, a top regional insurance official said. But India and China are the big growth areas of the region.

In the first half of 2008, Machel says life and savings products had continued to grow and was on track to show a 20 percent growth year on year, but investment products have fallen back.

He says more than the asset impairments, the sub-prime turmoil has reduced customer appetite for equity linked products.

Last year Aviva’s Asia Pacific business had grown 65 percent, with Australia giving strong growth on the back of a tax change on pensions. Aviva has also gone into Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan.

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Simon Machel, Asia Pacific chief of Aviva, which controls Sri Lanka’s Eagle Insurance says emerging Asia presents stronger growth opportunities than mature markets such as Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

He says Eagle Insurance already has a reasonable position in the Sri Lankan market.