Great Eastern disposes of Vietnam business after strategic review

A Great Eastern branch office in Singapore.
A Great Eastern branch office in Singapore. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Great Eastern Holdings Ltd has sold its Vietnam business to FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Ltd, a unit of Hong Kong's Pacific Century Group, for S$48.2 million in cash.

The net book value of Great Eastern Life (Vietnam) Co Ltd (GELV) as at May 31 was S$47.5 million, the company said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Tuesday (June 7).

The sale, whch will be completed on or about June 21, will result in a loss upon disposal due to the realisation of accumulated foreign exchange translation losses, said Great Eastern.

But the divestment it is not expected to have a material effect on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of the group for the current financial year, said the company.

Commenting on the rationale for the disposal, group CEO Khor Hock Seng said: "Our decision was made after a comprehensive strategic review. We will be increasing our focus to grow our core markets of Singapore and Malaysia where we are among the market leaders, as well as our business in Indonesia and Brunei."

He added: "The divestment is not expected to have a material impact on the Group's financials. As part of the transaction, FWD will honour all in-force policies. We will work with them to ensure a smooth transition for our customers and our employees."