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IAG to increase presence in India as part of Asia strategy

Press Trust of India / Melbourne 10 Jul 12 | 12:34 PM

Insurance Australia Group is increasing presence in Asia including India in a bid to generate 10% of its business from the region within four years.

IAG aims to generate 10% of its gross written premium in Asia by 2016, according to the group's CEO Mike Wilkins.

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IAG underwrites around AUD 8 billion of insurance premiums each year and employs around 13,000 people.

IAG, which owns major Australian brands such as NRMA and CGU, has invested about AUD 720 million in five Asian countries, Wilkins was quoted today by AAP report.

Through acquisitions and investments, IAG now has established businesses in Thailand and Malaysia, and is building its presence in India, China and Vietnam, he said.

In India, IAG has a joint venture with the country's largest lender the State Bank of India, SBI General Insurance Company Ltd. SBI owns 74% of the total capital and IAG the remaining 26%.

SBI General is in the process of setting up a unique multi-distribution model encompassing Bancassurance, Agency, Broking & Retail Direct channels. Bancassurance will be the major channel during the initial years, according to the information on the JV's website.

"The Asian opportunity is here and now," Wilkins said.

"Over the past couple of years, we've quietly gone about our Asian strategy and are now getting real traction.

We are entering an exciting phase of our Asian ambitions as we shift from a market entry focus to one of driving operational performance from our enlarged regional presence," he added.

Wilkins said middle class consumption in Asia, excluding Japan, was expected to nearly triple to about $12 trillion by 2020.

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