HAVING earlier invested in a power-generation project in Mindanao, Sun Life of Canada (Philippines) Inc. (Sun Life) eyes more investments in the country’s infrastructure buildup program, but this time on the renewable-power sector.
This was learned from Sun Life President and CEO Rizalina G. Mantaring, who said the insurer looks to make additional investments in the renewable-energy (RE) sector.
“We’re really looking at more infrastructure investments. This one is in RE,” Mantaring told financial reporters on Friday at the Sun Life head office in Taguig City.
Sun Life made its first infrastructure investment last year in a power plant project in Mindanao through a 12-year loan agreement. It is now in talks with parties who are looking for investors.
“We continue to look for additional infrastructure investments. We’ve been talking with a lot of parties who are also looking for investors. Some banks want us to take over their long-term liabilities,” she said.
Mantaring also said the insurer is willing to consider a private-public partnership (PPP) arrangement and close the deal perhaps within the first quarter next year.
“It’s still a private partnership, but we’re willing to consider PPP also,” Mantaring said of the alternative investment mode requiring a tandem with goverment.
Sun Life ranked first among the country’s life insurers in 2015 in terms of premium generation, its net premium income totaling P32.8 billion or higher, compared to 2014 level of only P30.7 billion. In terms of assets, Sun Life ranks second when it posted P180.848 billion in assets the same year.
The company recently partnered with Universal Storefront Services Corp., a money-transfer firm, to further increase the distribution reach of its financial services and offer more affordable insurance products to Filipinos, particularly those in the marginal sector.
“It’s the first time we’re partnering with somebody that really has the distribution because the challenge with distributing insurance in that the margins are so thin [such that] the distribution cost becomes a factor. By being able to partner with someone who already has the distribution in play, that’s a big help toward bringing in more people. Otherwise, the cost becomes prohibitive for practical reasons,” Mantaring said.
She also said the partnership was in step with the goal of the Insurance Commission (to promote financial inclusion in the country. The insurer targets to acquire 5 billion clients by 2020.
“The financial inclusion aspect is really important. We’re trying to build and help the government in building financial inclusion. We believe that’s the only way that you can sustain the growth in our country,” Mantaring said.