By SUCHEERA PINIJPARAKARN
TOKIO MARINE INSURANCE (Thailand) plans to expand its operations into Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar by setting up a dedicated team to cash in on the growing investments of Thai corporates and multinationals in those three countries.
Company president Shinkichi Miki said that even though the firm has a network in those three markets through a representative office in Myanmar and alliances in Cambodia and Laos, it wanted to move another step towards a strong presence there.
“What we do will have to depend on the regulations of each country, but the model we hope to use in all three markets is the joint venture,” he said.
Tokio Marine Insurance (Thailand) is a joint venture of Tokio Marine and Nichido Insurance, a member of Japan’s Tokio Marine Group.
Miki said the company had seen a major trend of corporates setting up subsidiaries in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. At the same time, corporate clients of Tokio Marine Group in many countries are investing more in the Asean region. Thailand, which is a strong base of the group, therefore has to focus on this movement to help sustain the parent firm’s share of these markets.
Marine and transport insurance products are key to tapping corporate clients in neighbouring countries.
Meanwhile, Thailand will be the second country after Japan to use bancassurance to accelerate the group’s premium income. Miki said the company would sign agreements with local banks soon. In Japan, Tokio Marine Group has used the bancassurance channel successfully.
The company has set up a team to work with banks in developing insurance products, as it has set ambitious growth targets for this channel.
Yoshiki Nakamura, managing director of the company, said that under its three-year plan, Tokio Marine Insurance (Thailand) targeted direct written premiums of more than Bt10 billion in 2017. This year, the company expects the direct written premiums of Bt7.4 billion, lower than the target because of a decline in car sales.