Ping An Insurance, China’s largest insurer by market value, remains focused on maximising its opportunities for growth in the domestic market and CEO Peter Ma said that he doesn’t foresee any major overseas acquisitions.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Ping An CEO Peter Ma said that the Chinese domestic market remains the priority for his firm, as it has “the best growth prospects.”
International insurance and reinsurance firms would likely agree, as many see China and other Asian countries as the driver of significant premium growth in the coming years.
Ping An, which has been named as the world’s most valuable insurance brand for the second year running based on its value of US $26.2 billion, has been linked with a number of potential acquisitions from offshore companies.
New reports linked Ping An with an acquisition of Prudential Plc’s Asia business earlier this year and the firm has also been named in connection with a potential acquisition of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s general insurance operation.
But Ma explained to the FT that his interests lie in taking Ping An’s offering overseas, rather than acquiring to gain that footprint, for the moment at least.
Ma feels that Ping An needs to do more to raise its international profile and brand recognition, saying that this is “still lacking because we haven’t done enough to promote ourselves.”
One way that Ping An could raise its profile would be through a major overseas acquisition, acquiring a recognised insurance brand leader that could help it gain stature in western markets.
However, right now the CEO feels this isn’t the priority, with domestic market and expansion of the Ping An brand overseas higher priorities.
Of course, with the market already consolidating and global diversification always attractive to the insurance and reinsurance business model, perhaps Ping An’s attentions could be swayed by offerings that arise over the coming months.
Plenty of opportunities to gain expansion of overseas are likely to emerge and with Ping An having significant fire power to put to work, the company is likely to be a target of those looking to be acquired, so we’d imagine if the right opportunity comes along this domestic focus could change.