New Gulf JV for AXA, in latest emerging market move

The Gulf arm of French insurance giant AXA said on Tuesday that it had completed the purchase of Green Cresent Insurance, a major UAE group health and life insurance company, alongside its joint-venture partner in the deal, Bahrain-based Kanoo Group. 

As a result of the deal, in Abu Dhabi-based Green Crescent Insurance Co will be re-branded AXA Green Crescent, AXA Gulf said in a statement.

The new entity already has its own website, which may be viewed by clicking here. On its home page, it showcases two products, the so-called Health Product and Smart Life plans.

The  AED100m (US$27.22m) deal is the latest of a number of similar transactions by AXA recently, as it pursues a strategy of entering emerging markets through the acquisition of existing businesses. 

As reported,  AXA announced in February that it had appointed a new head of its EM business, and increased its stake in a UK-based EM micro-insurance specialist, MicroEnsure, which focuses on low and middle-income individuals, and covers risks relating to life, health, agriculture, assets, accidents and political violence in Asia and Africa.

At the time of those announcements, AXA said they were part of what it called a “global initiative” on its part to sell insurance to middle-income earners in emerging markets.

In its coverage of the AXA/Kanoo JV, the Gulf News website noted that the UAE’s life insurance sector was “growing at a faster clip than overall market”, and that the two companies, in joining forces, were “out to grab [a] dominant share” of this.

“Life is now believed to be the second-largest premium generator (estimated at 23%) in the country after health, which accounts for US$3bn-plus annually (and a 30% share).”

Today’s announcement comes after AXA and Kanoo acquired a stake in Green Crescent late last year.

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