AXA, the French insurance giant, has confirmed press reports that it is to merge its life insurance and general insurance businesses in Singapore, effective on 1 January.
In a statement, the company told International Investment that it had “obtained a composite insurance license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore”, and that, as of the first of January, “AXA Insurance Singapore and AXA Life Insurance Singapore will become one, and be renamed AXA Insurance Pte Ltd”.
This confirms a story that appeared last week in the Straits Times, Singapore’s local newspaper. The company gave no further details.
AXA’s consolidation in Singapore comes as some of its traditional multinational rivals in the life insurance space –Standard Life and Zurich International – have pulled out of the city-state altogether. Standard Life said in 2015 that it would concentrate its Asian operations in Hong Kong.
Zurich said it would retain its general insurance business in Singapore, but that it would withdraw from the life insurance sector, which it had only recently entered, citing a changing regulatory landscape.
AXA’s announcement that it plans to consolidate its Singapore insurance businesses comes around three months after it announced that the chief executive of AXA Life Insurance Singapore, Glenn Williams, was leaving, as part of a restructuring of the business, and that he would be succeeded by Doina Palici-Chehab, who would take on his duties while retaining responsibility for the company’s general insurance business in Singapore, along with the title of CEO of that operation.
In recent years, officials from Singapore’s regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, have stressed the need for Singaporeans to become better insured, and have encouraged the development of the country’s insurance industry.