AXA Philippines announced it will acquire 100 percent of Charter Ping An Insurance Corp. from GT Capital for 45 million euros ($48.3 million).

The acquisition will enable AXA Philippines to offer property & casualty insurance products, along with its current range of life & savings products, distributed through the branch network of Metrobank, the company said in a statement.

With the acquisition, AXA hopes to benefit from a growing P&C market in the Philippines, which has low insurance penetration at only 0.45 percent of GDP in 2014.

Charter Ping An (CPA) is the fifth largest property & casualty insurance company in the Philippines with 2014 gross written premiums of 68 million euros ($73 million), AXA said, noting that CPA offers a full range of fire, motor, marine, personal accident and engineering insurance products.

CPA saw a 21 percent annual average growth in GWP between 2011 and 2014 – benefiting from a successful bancassurance agreement with Metrobank, the second largest bank in the Philippines in terms of assets and deposits.

With a network of 938 branches nationwide, Metrobank offers a full range of banking services to large local and multinational corporations, SMEs, high net worth individuals and retail clients, AXA said, noting that Metrobank has been distributing AXA Philippines’ life & savings insurance products since 1999.

“This deal marks the next stage in expanding AXA Philippines to offer a comprehensive range of high-quality insurance products to our customers, enabling us to leverage our international experience in property & casualty cover to provide customer-centric solutions,” said Jean-Louis Laurent Josi, regional CEO of AXA Asia.

“Our close partnership with GT Capital and Metrobank has enabled us to build a strong presence in this high-growth market and this milestone will create new opportunities for further growth, as well as to help enhance the local insurance sector with a wider range of offerings.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals, and is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2016.

Source: AXA Group