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Insurers upbeat for year ahead

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by David Masters

Insurance firms remain upbeat about the year ahead despite taking a battering from the credit crunch.

Over half (55%) of the world’s leading insurers expect organic growth to improve over the next 12 months, whilst a similar number (53%) expect to grow through acquisitions.

International expansion is the favoured option for many companies, with the big emerging economies of Brazil, China, India and Russia topping the acquisitions agenda, the poll by KPMG and the Economist Intelligence Unit found.

Another poll by Accenture discovered that three quarters of global insurance companies believe current economic conditions will create more opportunities for expansion outside of their home market in the next three years.

Frank Ellenbuerger, head of KPMG’s Global Insurance practice, said insurers have held up well through the financial crisis compared to other players in the financial services industry.

“The insurance industry has not been so deeply affected by current economic conditions and so executives within it are perhaps more optimistic about their prospects for the coming year than those in other financial services sectors, Ellenbuerger said.

“However, executives do still foresee a continuing lack of confidence in the capital markets as stifling to their recovery.”

Accenture spokesperson Serge Callet added that insurers will “prioritise” investment in international expansion because of its “strategic importance”.

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News posted: June 10, 2009

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