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Insurance sector in Asia set for 'really attractive' growth, says JP Morgan

Key Points
  • The insurance industry is poised for "really attractive" growth in Asia, according to J.P. Morgan Asset Management's Alexander Treves.
  • While those markets are "very under penetrated," Treves says people tend to spend more on insurance as they become wealthier.
  • He said it is a "multi-year growth story we think is really attractive," adding that over the next 10 years, there will be "large numbers of people" who have not been insured before, who will start protecting themselves or their families.
Commuters cross a road opposite a shopping mall in Beijing on April 4, 2019.
GREG BAKER | AFP | Getty Images

Over the next 10 years, the insurance sector is set for "really attractive" growth as consumers in Asia grow wealthier, J.P. Morgan Asset Management's Alexander Treves told CNBC on Thursday.

The insurance industry has a lot of opportunity in Asian markets, including Southeast Asia and India, which Treves said are "very under penetrated."

"As people get wealthier, they are going to spend more money on insuring, not just their goods and their livelihoods, but also of course their health and their lives," said Treves, who is managing director and investment specialist of emerging markets and Asia Pacific equities at the firm.

He said it is a "multi-year growth story we think is really attractive," adding that over the next 10 years, there will be "large numbers of people" who have not been insured before, who will start protecting themselves or their families.

"If you're coming from a low-income country, they will go from having no insurance at all to something at the margin, and that will underwrite a very, very long growth trajectory for years and years," Treves added.

A Bain & Company report earlier this year found that income from gross premiums in the Chinese life insurance market grew by about 25% annually from 2013 to 2017.

Demand for health insurance will grow, it said, pointing to an aging population in many parts of Asia Pacific.

"While these sociodemographic shifts are driving up insurance needs, coverage remains low. Consumers in Asia-Pacific's developing markets are significantly underinsured," the report said.

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