Italian firm receives life insurance license in Vietnam

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Generali, Italy's largest insurer, said it has been granted a license to run life insurance operations in Vietnam as the group extends its presence in Asia.

The new company, Generali Vietnam Life Insurance Company, is wholly owned by Generali and headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Economic conditions in Vietnam are extremely favorable for development of the insurance industry, which grew by 22 percent in 2010 alone, it said, noting that the country has a low insurance penetration ratio of just 1.6 percent of its gross domestic product.

Generali said with the new license, it has extended its presence to eight Asian markets. "The area represents a strategic market for Generali, in view of its high economic growth and high household saving propensity," the company said.

The group reported 43.6 percent growth in premium income in the area last year.

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