Sumitomo Life buys 25% stake in fintech startup Singapore Life

02, Jul. 2019

SINGAPORE, NNA - Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. has purchased a stake of about 25 percent in Singapore Life Pte. Ltd. for $90 million in a drive to capitalize on the fintech startup's long-term growth.

Sumitomo Life completed the transaction to become a major shareholder last Friday, spokesman Akira Sasaki told NNA on Monday, adding the major Japanese life insurer will have a director on the Singapore Life board.

Singapore Life began operations in 2017, becoming the first home-grown life insurer to be fully licensed since 1970.

Singapore is Southeast Asia's largest life insurance market with annual gross premiums of $22 billion in 2017, Sumitomo said in a statement.

Singapore Life offers term insurance, universal life, critical illness and endowment plans.

Sumitomo noted the Singaporean market has expanded about 8 percent annually for the last 10 years, and will grow by about 5 percent every year for the next decade.

The Japanese insurer aims to utilize Singapore Life's digital technology to bring synergies to its own sales in Japan and abroad.

Singapore Life said Sumitomo Life's newly acquired stake follows investment by other major investors, including Aberdeen Standard Investments, Aflac Inc. and investment fund IPGL (Holdings) Ltd.(NNA/Kyodo)