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Asian Alliance Insurance in Forbes Asia’s ‘Best under a Billion’

Sep 16, 2011 3:17:12 PM - www.ft.lk

Forbes Asia announced Asian Alliance Insurance PLC as one of the four Sri Lankan companies selected for ‘Best under a Billion’ for 2011, an annual review of small and midsized companies in Asia with a turnover of less than US$ 1 billion.

The criterion for the selection to the exclusive list included profitability, growth, modest indebtedness and future prospects. Another vital aspect was the process of management to guide the company through the global credit crunch of 2008 with little or no impact to operations. The initial list consisted of 15,000 entities which were pruned down to 200 companies to which Asian Alliance Insurance PLC was selected.

Posting a profit before tax of Rs. 371 million in the year 2010, the highest ever at Asian Alliance to date, Life insurance business contributed Rs. 254 million and Non Life recorded a profit of Rs. 117 million towards this outstanding performance.    
The company recorded a Gross Written Premium (GWP) of Rs. 1,673 million, from both Life and Non Life businesses; a growth of 11% over the previous year. Life recorded a GWP of Rs. 1,242 million with its annualised new business premium growth of 35% reaching a value of Rs. 600 million, maintaining the highest levels in the industry.  
RAM Rating upgraded the claims-paying ability rating of Asian Alliance Insurance PLC from BB+ to BBB-. This followed the completion of a fully-subscribed Rights Issue for a value of Rs. 812.5 million.
This capital raising exercise has increased the Investment Base by 62% y-o-y from Rs. 2,314 million to Rs. 3,751 million. Further, the Net Asset Value has increased by over 3X to Rs. 1,561 million. Also the company meeting the required level of Solvency Ratio in both Life and Non Life segments is noteworthy. As a reflection of the company’s stability the share price increased by 47% during the year and was Rs. 82.50 on 31 December 2010 and currently trade at Rs. 120.
Another strategic investment made by the Company was in the Oracle Financial E-Business Suite, at a cost of Rs. 25 million. This system was fully integrated with the two front end operational systems, allowing real time online integration and hence increasing the efficiency of our business processes whilst lowering the expense ratio.
Asian Alliance Insurance Director/CEO Ramal Jasinghe stated: “AAI is cognisant of the reality of changing times, trends, markets and market dynamics. The company has carved its market within a value driven segment that has ensured sustained growth within the market space we service, in the decade gone by. The management of AAI is poised to meet the reality of change, and seek to exploit the opportunities in the prevailing economic environment, as well as to reap the benefits of an emerging consumer. Whilst complementing the market within which Asian Alliance caters to and nurtures, plans are afoot to reach out to the greater base of the Sri Lankan consumer, providing the same quality and value of services to a wider market segment.”
Asian Alliance Insurance PLC was acquired by the Softlogic Holdings recently which has further strengthened the stability of the company. Softlogic is one of the leading, dynamic organisations in Sri Lanka today, having expanded and diversified into the growth sectors of retail, healthcare, ICT, automobiles, travel and leisure and finance, holding authorised distributorships for some key global brand names.
Softlogic today employs over 5,000 people within its offices located in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Australia. AAI believes that this will enable the company to reap the benefits of the changes and demands of the local insurance market by creating synergies with the group companies.

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