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.”
Tran Bac Ha, chairman of BIDV said, “The JV with MetLife is a perfect complement to our already strong banking business in Vietnam. We are confident that this new JV business will become a real leader in the life insurance industry in Vietnam and we are looking forward to offering Vietnamese people world class insurance products and services in the near future.”MetLife, founded in 1868, is the largest life insurer in the U.S. and a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. MetLife has been in Asia for more than 60 years. It has operations in nine countries in the region and is a recognized leader in the industry. It has been named one of the “World's Most Admired Companies” by Fortune Magazine (2011), and is ranked 40 th on the 2013 Fortune 500 list. Founded in 1957, Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) is a leading financial institution in the fields of banking, securities, insurance and financial investment, with a large banking network in Vietnam. It currently serves 5 million clients nationwide and BIDV is recognized as a leading brand name in Vietnam. In 2013, BIDV has been awarded the Domestic Cash Management Bank of the Year by Asian Money Magazine, and awarded the Top 10 most famous brand name in Vietnam for three consecutive years (2011, 2012, 2013). It is a diversified financial group with business activities in the fields of banking, securities, insurance and financial investment. With more than 18,000 officers, employees and financial consultants, BIDV serves both individual customers and institutions. BIDV also has a commercial presence in a number of countries including Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Czech Republic; and several joint ventures in Vietnam with other foreign partners.