MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), Bank for Investment & Development of Vietnam (BIDV), and Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam Insurance Corporation (BIC) signed an agreement today to establish a life insurance joint venture (JV) in Vietnam. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung of Vietnam, Tran Bac Ha, chairman of the board of management of BIDV, and Kurt Campbell, member of MetLife’s board of directors and former assistant secretary of state, during the prime minister’s visit to the United States.
The JV follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was previously signed by both parties in July of this year and delivers on a key component of MetLife’s strategy: expanding its presence in emerging markets. At the same time, the JV also represents BIDV’s strategic direction into the field of life insurance, which is in line with and complements the bank’s business tradition.
The new JV will have a charter capital of VND 1 trillion (approximately US$48 million), and MetLife will own 60% of the company and BIDV and BIC will have the remaining 40%. The joint venture will initially focus on offering life and health insurance products. Alongside the establishment of the JV, there is also an exclusive bancassurance distribution agreement between the JV and BIDV.
The JV, which is expected to be operational in 2014, will leverage the strengths of two exceptional companies to create a strong and trusted insurance provider. Vietnamese consumers will benefit from access to MetLife’s global expertise, financial reliability and a wide range of innovative products and services. In addition, the JV will also leverage BIDV’s keen understanding of the financial needs of Vietnamese customers and its large national branch network of more than 600 distribution points.
Commenting on the signing, Chris Townsend, president, Asia for MetLife said, “This JV agreement between MetLife and BIDV expands MetLife’s footprint into fast growing Southeast Asia and highlights our commitment to the country. We look forward to partnering with BIDV, a bank with a long and distinguished history and brand, to deliver a suite of innovative life insurance products to customers in Vietnam in order to provide them with the ability to achieve and maintain their financial security.”