Snapshot: Chile's BBVA Vida

By
Monday, December 11, 2017

Spanish giant BBVA this month agreed to sell its Chilean unit to Canadian lender Scotiabank for US$2.2bn, and the deal includes a life insurance business.

The operation, known as BBVA Vida, is one of 36 competing in the segment in Chile.

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It is among the smaller players in a field dominated by eight or so companies, with the local unit of US giant MetLife the No. 1 insurer by direct premiums.

BBVA Vida belongs to BBVA Inversiones Chile, a financial holding of the BBVA group. The insurer's main sales channel is the bank, or BBVA Chile as it is known

Scotiabank does not control an insurance subsidiary in the local market.

Post-merger, Scotiabank's market share will double to 14%, making it Chile's third biggest private sector lender.

On Monday, local rating agency Feller Rate affirmed BBVA Vida's obligations at 'AA-' and the positive outlook on the rating.

"The positive outlook is based on the conservative underwriting practices of BBVA, combined with conservative business policies, which strengthen backing of the portfolio," Feller Rate said in a statement. "To that you can add the solid credit support of Scotiabank."

The sale of BBVA Chile is expected to close by the end of next year.

SEGMENT RESULTS

Over the first nine months of the year, Chile's life insurers saw their profits rise to 17.982mn UF (inflation-linked units, about US$736mn) from 11.465mn UF in the same period of 2016.

In Chile, life segment players account for the bulk of the insurance industry's earnings.

BBVA VIDA KEY METRICS

BBVA Vida is a profitable operation. For January-September it posted earnings of 209,442 UF.

The insurer was also among the nine that posted positive underwriting results, reporting 106,476 UF. The segment as a whole posted an underwriting loss of 40.652mn UF.

In terms of income from investments, the company reported 206,638 UF. The total for the segment was 64.187mn UF.

BBVA Vida's direct premiums were 978,896 UF and direct claims were 395,509 UF. At the end of September, total assets were 5.572mn UF and total liabilities 3.683mn UF.