Life insurers eyeing fixed-income market for infrastructure financing
MEMBERS of the Philippine Life Insurance Association, Inc. (PLIA) are looking to tap the fixed-income securities market to participate in infrastructure financing, the group’s president said.
PLIA President Rico T. Bautista, who is the president and chief executive officer of Etiqa Life and General Assurance Philippines, Inc., said in a speech on Tuesday that the group plans to “explore securitization as a pathway to industry participation in infrastructure financing and creating diversity in the fixed-income securities market.”
“Securitization is seen to provide a new source of financing for the significant and growing demand of the infrastructure marketplace,” he added.
He said the PLIA hopes to provide high-quality fixed-income securities that can support the long-term investment objectives of insurance fund managers.
“It is a positive development that securitization has recently been recommended to be part of the blueprint of the Capital Market Development Council, of which PLIA is a member,” Mr. Bautista added.
Aside from this, life insurance companies are also looking to tap digital platforms to improve their operations, he said, as PLIA is aiming to partner with the Insurance Commission (IC) in using artificial intelligence for the online qualifying exams for insurance agents.
An application programming interface (API) for the industry’s medical information database (MID) will also be developed, Mr. Bautista added.
He said the API will provide a secure linkage of the MID with a member company’s internal underwriting applications and would end having to download a decrypted copy of the database on a daily basis.
An industry workshop on technology-enabled growth and transformation opportunities in the insurance industry and the life insurance market will also be sponsored by PLIA, Mr. Bautista said.
The workshop will cover the different stages of digital transformation maturity and highlight strategic trends needed in being digital-ready, he added.
“Participants will go through each stage of the design thinking framework to come up with innovative ideas on how to reimagine the digital insurance customer value proposition,” he said.
“It is hoped that this workshop will provide guidance to our members in developing their digitization strategy,” Mr. Bautista added.
He said PLIA is proposing to add a subject on financial literacy in high school curricula in the country.
Aside from working with the Department of Education, PLIA is also looking at supporting legislative means to implement this.
The life insurance industry posted total premiums of P229.34 billion as of September 2022, slipping from the P230.613 billion a year prior, data from the IC showed.
This caused the sector’s net income to drop by 12.67% year on year to P26.095 billion in the same period. — A.M.C. Sy