Firmly committed to Asia: Belgian insurer Ageas

Brussels, Aug 31 (IANS) Belgium’s largest insurance company Ageas said it remains firmly committed to Asia after announcing the sale of its Hong Kong life insurance business.

Announcing the sale on Sunday to asset management firm JD Capital for 1.23 billion euros (about $1.38 billion), Ageas said it plans to focus its Asian activity on six “growth markets” — China, Malaysia, Thailand, India, the Philippines and Vietnam, Xinhua reported

The insurer will keep its Asia regional office in Hong Kong and said it continues to explore other opportunities in the region.

Ageas, headquartered in Brussels, entered the Hong Kong market in 2007 with the acquisition of Pacific Century Insurance.

Chief executive Bart De Smet said in a release: “We concluded that it is in the group’s best interest to realign our strategy towards the fast growing emerging markets of Asia.”

Ageas Asia chief executive Gary Crist added: “We remain firmly committed to the Asia region as demonstrated by our recent transactions in the Philippines and Vietnam.”

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