IC bares acquisition, merger plans in non-life sector

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THE INSURANCE COMMISSION said Chinese firms are eyeing to support a non-life insurance company placed under conservatorship.

“[There’s one company that was placed] under conservatorship but there’s now an investor expressing interest to revive it, hopefully before the end of the third quarter,” Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of the launch of the Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp. Academy.

“But I am not free to disclose the names but we will do that as soon as we are free to do so,” he added.

“One company that was placed under conservatorship will possibly be acquired by a foreign group. It’s a Chinese group… Ongoing yung acquisition,” added Mr. Funa.

He said there are also two non-life companies set to conduct a merger within the year.

“We are down to 54 non-life companies but two non-life companies will be eventually merging before the end of the year. They are actually part of a conglomerate, but I don’t want to preempt. We will be down to 53 by the end of the year,” he said.

“I think mas magiging efficient if magiging isa na lang yung non-life kasi para hindi doble,” said Mr. Funa.

Last week, the Insurance Commission announced that it has suspended the operations of pre-need company Paz Memorial Services, Inc. and placed it under conservatorship due to the failure of the company to comply with the P50 minimum capital requirement.

In March the commission also shut down five insurance firms, namely First Integrated Bonding & Insurance Co., Inc., Investors Assurance Corp., Metropolitan Insurance Company, Inc., Plaridel Surety & Insurance Co., and Premier Insurance & Surety Corp., and placed them under conservatorship after they failed to comply with the P550-million minimum net worth requirement set for this year.

February also saw seven insurers — Centennial Guarantee Assurance Corp., CAP Life Insurance Corp., FLT Prime Insurance Corp., Manila Surety and Fidelity Co., Inc., Meridian Assurance Corp., The Solid Guaranty, Inc., and United Insurance Co., Inc. — voluntarily surrender their licenses as they cannot comply with the said net worth threshold.

In 2016, there were about 66 non-life insurers.

Mr. Funa however said there “no issues” in compliance for the remaining 54 non-life insurers. “Compliant naman lahat,” he said.

The capitalization requirement will increase to P900 million in 2019 and P1.3 billion in 2022. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan