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RAM Ratings assigns AA1/Stable/P1 ratings to Maybank Ageas

Published on 05 Nov 2021.

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RAM Ratings has assigned corporate credit ratings of AA1/Stable/P1 to Maybank Ageas Holdings Berhad (the Group). The ratings reflect the overall credit profile of the Group, its structural subordination as a non-operating holding company of regulated insurance entities, as well as moderate leverage. Based on Maybank Ageas’ projected debt load of RM1.0 bil at the end of this year, we estimate its gearing and double leverage ratios to come in at around 0.3 time and 1.0 time respectively – levels that are manageable in our view.

Maybank Ageas is a leading domestic insurance and takaful group with life and non-life subsidiaries operating under the Etiqa brand in Malaysia and Singapore. With a 13.9% share of combined gross premiums and contributions in 2020, Maybank Ageas is the largest player in the local non-life arena and among the top three motor insurance and takaful providers. It also houses the largest takaful operation in the country by combined gross contributions. The Group’s life and family franchise is less prominent given the dominance of some locally incorporated foreign insurers, having ranked fourth with around 10% market share of new business (NB) premiums and contributions in the last three years. Likewise, its Singapore franchise is smaller in stature, with market shares of 5% or less in the general and life segments.

As its life and non-life businesses contribute almost equal proportions of overall gross premiums and pre-tax profit, the Group’s risk and earnings profile is well diversified. Topline gains on the back of business growth and largely stable investment returns have supported Maybank Ageas’ profit performance, with investment-related income consistently contributing 25%-30% of aggregate premiums and investment returns in the past five years. Pre-tax return on assets averaged a healthy 2.6% in the last three years. Maybank Ageas and its subsidiaries were adequately capitalised, with capital adequacy ratios above their respective individual target capital levels as at end-December 2020. Most of them had a buffer of at least 30 percentage points between the two indicators.

In view of its close ties to Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank, which owns 69.05% of the Group), Maybank Ageas reaps significant benefits from the former’s extensive branch network and customer base, through which it has generally derived about a third of aggregate life/family NB and non-life premiums and contributions. Distribution synergies are apparent from Maybank Ageas’ operating efficiencies, seen in the life and non-life businesses’ lower-than-industry commission and management expense ratios (three-year averages: 16.3% and 29.5%; industry: 24.9% and 35.3%). The Group, however, faces some degree of distributor concentration, while single-pay plans account for a high proportion of the Malaysian life and family segment’s NB premiums and contributions (close to 75% of domestic NB).

Established in 2001, Maybank Ageas is a partnership between Maybank and Ageas Insurance International N.V. (Ageas), which owns the remaining 30.95% of the Group. Maybank is one of the largest financial services groups in the ASEAN region by asset size, while Ageas is a Belgium-based insurance group with life and non-life businesses in 14 countries across Europe and Asia. The Group’s core subsidiaries in Malaysia and Singapore have operated under the Etiqa brand since 2007, with Singapore being a small profit contributor (generally constituting about 3% of Maybank Ageas’ pre-tax profits). 


Analytical contacts
Loh Kit Yoong
(603) 3385 2493
kityoong@ram.com.my

Sophia Lee
(603) 3385 2619
sophia@ram.com.my


The credit rating is not a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold a security, inasmuch as it does not comment on the security’s market price or its suitability for a particular investor, nor does it involve any audit by RAM Ratings. The credit rating also does not reflect the legality and enforceability of financial obligations.

RAM Ratings receives compensation for its rating services, normally paid by the issuers of such securities or the rated entity, and sometimes third parties participating in marketing the securities, insurers, guarantors, other obligors, underwriters, etc. The receipt of this compensation has no influence on RAM Ratings’ credit opinions or other analytical processes. In all instances, RAM Ratings is committed to preserving the objectivity, integrity and independence of its ratings. Rating fees are communicated to clients prior to the issuance of rating opinions. While RAM Ratings reserves the right to disseminate the ratings, it receives no payment for doing so, except for subscriptions to its publications.

Similarly, the disclaimers above also apply to RAM Ratings’ credit-related analyses and commentaries, where relevant.

Published by RAM Rating Services Berhad
© Copyright 2021 by RAM Rating Services Berhad

 



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Ratings on Maybank Ageas Holdings Berhad

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