MTL growth set to match overall sector
published : 31 Jan 2023 at 04:01
newspaper section: Business
writer: Nuntawun Polkuamdee
Muang Thai Life Assurance (MTL) expects to grow in line with the overall insurance industry this year, saying the cooling global economy would have a minimal impact on insurance policy renewals as consumers are more health-conscious following the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2022, MTL's new insurance premiums grew 10% as health and critical illness premiums increased by 7%. This year, the latter is targeted to grow by more than 7% because of changing customer behaviour as more people are looking for an insurance package to protect their health.
"The past year was a year full of challenges, as the pandemic and the overall economic situation lowered the purchasing power of consumers substantially. However, it clearly didn't affect the renewal of insurance policies among our customers, and MTL continued to operate on a solid footing," said Sara Lamsam, chief executive of Muang Thai Life Assurance and Muang Thai Group Holding.
MTL will continue to focus on health insurance and protection this year because it fits the current situation. The company is aiming to be the No.1 life and health partner trusted by customers with a "happiness reinvented" strategy structured by products, services and innovations that meet their needs.
Mr Sara said Thailand in 2023 would feel the impact of the volatile global economy, while the pandemic and higher interest rates were still affecting the insurance business.
"Interest is the main cost of life insurance and we have to invest for the long term to be in line with the investment plans of customers. However, the company is confident that the Thai economy will be on a solid recovery path this year," said Mr Sara.
MTL has strength in financial stability. It received a credit rating from S&P Global Ratings at BBB+ with a stable outlook, and from Fitch Ratings at A- with a stable credit outlook. The company's national financial strength rating is affirmed at AAA (tha). Meanwhile, the capital adequacy ratio remains strong, at over 300% by the end of 2022, well above the 140% capital requirement that needs to be maintained.
Thananchai Sajjaporamest, executive vice-president and chief financial officer of MTL, said the company has total assets of around 600 billion baht, 80% of which are debt security assets in domestic and global markets, with the rest in real estate funds and other assets.
MTL last year received a return on investment of 3-4%. Most of its assets are investment credit rating bonds. This year will see more investment opportunities in SET100 stocks that focus on consistent dividend payments.
According to the Thai Life Assurance Association, for the first 11 months of 2022 MTL had total premiums of 61.8 billion baht, with a market share of 11.4%.
- Muang Thai Life Assurance