Viet Nam's insurance market is of great potential

Ha Noi, Nov. 7 (VNA)-- Viet Nam's insurance market is of great potential and promising, says the President of French Insurance Group (AGF).

Antoine Jeancourt Galignani tells the Viet Nam Economic Times that the joint venture in non-life insurances between his company and the Allianz Company of Germany - the Allianz-AGF Viet Nam - has won more than 130 contracts with a gross turnover of USD 3 million in the first year of operation in 2000, a little higher than expected.

More than 50 percent of contracts have come from new services that the Allianz-AGF has recently introduced into Viet Nam, says the industry owner, adding that his company would gain a larger market share and sell more services once Government policy is opened up. He refers to a great potential in vehicle and health insurance for Vietnamese on visits to European countries which his company has not yet been licensed to sell although health insurance for Vietnamese tourists is required by European embassies. Allianz-AGF Viet Nam has so far been licensed to sell insurance to foreign companies and foreign-invested companies only.

Antoine rejects an opinion that the Viet Nam insurance market is now saturated, with two local giants and five foreign invested companies. He says that the local market is of great potential and promising. He cites the virgin vehicle insurance market in Ho Chi Minh City and an increasing demand for investment capital insurance by private companies in the whole country.

Ho Chi Minh City has more than 1.6 million motorcycles in use but very few of them are insured. Meanwhile, in developed countries, drivers of any sort of vehicle should buy insurances to cover possible accidents.

Viet Nam has seen a boom of private companies since the Private Investment Law came into force early this year. The boom brought increasing demand for insurance of the company's investments such as insurance for fire and civil responsibilites, points out Antoine.

His Allianz-AGF Viet Nam is now targeting small-and medium-sized enterpirses.