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23 Jul 2010

Financial Markets

Life Insurance: Slow Growth in May due to Unrest, Higher Earnings Despite Higher Interest (Business Brief No.2885)

KResearch has complied data on 23 insurance companies based on monthly updates on the database of the Thai Life Assurance Association and it was found that life insurance business over 5M10 decelerated to 14.9 percent growth YoY, versus the 17.1-percent growth during 4M10, which was likely the result of a contraction in new business in May due to the impact of severe political tension. Meanwhile, KResearch expects that earnings in June 2010 will post double-digit growth once again after the crisis has bottomed out. Therefore, total insurance premiums earned by the Thai life insurance industry in 1H10 will likely grow at least 15.0-16.0 percent YoY.
For the life insurance business direction in 2H10, double-digit growth will likely be maintained. Life insurance business is expected to be boosted by purchases to gain tax incentives over the remainder of this year, easing political discord, the economic recovery, better consumer confidence as well as competition between insurance companies and banks' proactive efforts to increase fee income.

Due to many factors, such asthe upward interest rate trend that commercial banks have quickly responded to, and the decelerating trend in housing loans expected during 2H10 (because property tax incentives expired in June) which may affect Mortgage Reduce Term Assurance (MRTA) as well as recent political problems, KResearch thus decreases our life insurance business forecast for 2010 to 16.0-18.0 percent growth, from our former forecast of 18.0-23.0 percent.

Financial Markets