July 02--Dhipaya Life Assurance has reaffirmed its initial public offering (IPO) plan remains on track for next year.
Deputy chairman Somporn Suebthawilkul said the life insurer expected the IPO on the SET would raise its registered capital by 1.3 billion baht to 3 billion. The company achieved recapitalisation to 1.7 billion baht in April.
Dhipaya Life Assurance was renamed from Siam Life Insurance after Dhipaya Insurance, the country's second-largest insurer, acquired a 20% stake in 2011.
Thailand's life insurance sector is growing at a rapid clip due largely to a low penetration rate and a rising number of middle-income earners concerned about protecting their health and assets as they age.
The firm targets total premiums of 5 billion baht this year, up by 25% from last year. It recorded a net profit of more than 300 million baht last year, leaving an accumulated loss of 200 million.
The company plans to write off the retained loss this year.
"Should our 5-billion-baht target prove achievable, we plan to set a minimum annual growth rate of 15% from next year, which would be in line with the overall sector's growth," said Mr Somporn.
Dhipaya targets ordinary life insurance policies contributing half of its total premiums the next three to five years, he said. Ordinary life insurance policies with longer-term protection will eventually help stabilise the company portfolio and contribute higher premiums in the long run.
Mr Somporn said the company planned to expand its business into Laos by offering life insurance products in the second half of this year.
Its parent offers insurance to Thai construction firms working in Laos through its venture Tipaya Insurance (Laos).
Mr Somporn said the life insurance sector had high growth potential there due to its small base of US$2-3 million a year.
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