Shinhan Life, Orange Life to merge

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Shinhan Life, Orange Life to merge

Shinhan Financial Group will merge its life insurance affiliates Shinhan Life and Orange Life on July 1, 2021.

Orange Life, formerly known as ING Life, was acquired by Shinhan Financial Group in 2018 for 2.3 trillion won ($1.9 billion). The acquisition was part of chairman Cho Yong-byoung’s effort to expand the company’s business portfolio as net interest margins continued to deteriorate amid low policy rates and intensifying competition.

The combined insurer, which doesn’t yet have an official name, will be the industry’s fourth largest in terms of assets.

Samsung Life, Hanwha Life and Kyobo Life are currently the top three firms, with 2019 assets of 287.3 trillion, 141.8 trillion and 116 trillion won, respectively. The new entity will edge out Nonghyup Life, which is currently the fourth largest insurer, with 64.8 trillion won.

Shinhan Life specializes in variable insurance plans, while Orange Life is more focused on term insurance products.

Shinhan Financial expects the merger will provide a competitive edge over other players.

“When the integration is completed, the insurance company will be able to reach economies of scale, becoming one of the top-tier insurers in the industry,” Cho said during a teleconference held Tuesday. “Combining each companies’ strong points in insurance planning, digital platforms and consumer protection, we plan to provide differentiated value to the customers at Shinhan.”

Other domestic financial firms have recently been eyeing insurance companies, including Prudential Life, which holds 20 trillion won in assets.

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