Kasikornbank (KBank) is exploring life insurance opportunities in Myanmar and Cambodia as part of a fast-track strategy to prepare for the Asean single market in 2016.
Vice-president Krisada Lamsam said the group is unable to flex its muscle as a full-range financial service provider abroad due largely to intensified competition and regulations in the region, so it needs to determine which business is right for certain areas.
KBank found insurance opportunities in Myanmar after dipping a toe in the water by opening a representative office in Yangon in January, he said.
The easing of regulations on financial services in Cambodia in recent years also caught KBank's eye.
KBank, the country's third-biggest lender by assets, is a major shareholder of Muang Thai Life Assurance.
It owns a 51% stake in Muang Thai Fortis Holding, which in turn holds a 75% stake in Muang Thai Life Assurance, and KBank directly owns 32.25% of the life insurer.
KBank has cooperated with Muang Thai Life Assurance to offer life insurance through KBank's bancassurance channel and as a sale agent of Muang Thai Life.
It expects 45% of its customer base of 10.9 million accounts to hold Muang Thai life insurance policies within two years.
For the first quarter, KBank's net fee and service revenue rose by 29.5% year-on-year to 7.14 billion baht, while the SET-listed bank's overall revenue rose by 28.5% year-on-year to 33 billion baht.
Shares of KBANK closed yesterday on the SET at 207 baht, down four baht, in trade worth 663 million baht.
About the author
- Writer: Somruedi Banchongduang
Position: Business Reporter