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Business

Manulife acquires another life insurance firm

- Ted P. Torres -
Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. (Philippines) Inc. has acquired Pramerica Life Insurance Co. Inc., the fourth insurance company the Canada-based insurer acquired in a span of four years. Both companies are ranked within the top 10 life insurance companies in the Philippines. Pramerica is the local unit of Prudential Financial, one of the largest life insurance companies in the US.

"It is a good acquisition in terms of distribution and products," said Carl Gustini, president of Manulife Phils. However, he admitted that it would not significantly alter or expand Manulifes’ policy base.

At the close of 2005, Manulife Phils. had over 500,000 policies-in-force. It is expected to expand by another 9,600 from Pramerica.

Gustini said Manulife had again proven its seriousness in its insurance business in the Philippines, although admitting that they are still in the integration process.

But Insurance Commissioner Evangeline Escobillo said this integration is "a welcome development."

"The consolidation is good for the insurance industry. It can make the industry efficient and better capitalized. Manulife is a good, efficient and strong company," she said.

In July 2002, Manulife acquired the policies-in-force of Metlife Insurance Co. of the Philippines as its US-based parent opted to pack up when it failed to meet targets after two years in operation.

Three months later, Manulife acquired CMG Life Insurance Co. Inc. (CMG Life), then ranked 11th in the industry. The acquistion pushed Manulife Phils. to fifth overall at the end of that year.

The following year, Manulife acquired another major foreign player in John Hancock Life Insurance.

Manulife Phils. reported total premiums of P3.6 billion last year, keeping it in pace with the top five players in the industry. First-year premiums alone ballooned to P543 million.

Just recently, parent company Manulife Financial Corp. reported a net income of $956 million for the first three of the year. Total premiums and deposits stood at $17.9 billion, an increase of 20 percent from the first quarter of 2005.

Total funds under management reached $386 billion, a 10-percent increase over levels reported a year ago.

The Asia and Japan division (including the Philippines) reported a net income of $162 million, and premiums and deposits of $2.6 billion in the same period.

Manulife Financial is the mother unit of Manulife Phils. and is listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and similar other bourses in Canada, New York and Hong Kong.

ASIA AND JAPAN

BUT INSURANCE COMMISSIONER EVANGELINE ESCOBILLO

CARL GUSTINI

IN JULY

INSURANCE

JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE

LIFE

LIFE INSURANCE CO

MANUFACTURERS LIFE INSURANCE CO

MANULIFE

MANULIFE PHILS

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