European insurance industry sets sights on China
Many sectors in the global insurance industry have been experiencing exceptional growth in recent years. For European insurance giants, Asia is becoming the most attractive market in the world. Prudential, the largest insurer in Europe, claims that the best investments that the insurance industry can make are in Asia. Prudential CEO Tidjane Thiam notes that China, in particular, is home to the fastest growing sector of the insurance industry, making the country very attractive to investors despite some of the restrictions imposed on foreign companies by the country’s government.
Prudential predicts major growth in China
Prudential notes that the Chinese insurance market is expected to grow by 5% and 10% over the coming year. The insurer notes that much of the attraction that is represented by the Asian market comes from very low insurance penetration in countries like Indonesia, Singapore, and China. Few consumers have insurance coverage, whether due to the high costs associated with some forms of coverage or simply the lack of appropriate insurance products.
Aviva contends that Europe is where most insurance industry promise lies
Though Prudential sees major promise in the Asian market, Aviva, one of Europe’s leading insurance companies, is less enthusiastic. The insurer suggests that some parts of Europe show the same potential for the insurance industry as markets in Asian do. Countries like Poland and Turkey are showing strong valuations in certain insurance sectors because of a growing middle class. As the populace of these countries becomes more affluent, they gain access to insurance coverage, allowing them to purchase policies that they previously had no access to.
US not an interest for large European insurers
While Prudential and Aviva may disagree on the state of the Asian insurance market and its potential, both insurers claim that the U.S. has relatively little potential. Prudential, in particular, claims that there is little point in investing in the U.S. market due to the current state of several insurance markets and the valuations therein.