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Hanwha Life secures 40% stake in Indonesian lender

May 6, 2024 - 16:05 By Im Eun-byel
Hanwha Life Vice Chair and CEO Yeo Seung-joo (center left) and Lippo Group’s MPC CEO Adrian Sherman (center right) sign an agreement at a signing ceremony, held in Jakarta, on Friday, also attended by Hanwha Life President and Chief Global Officer Kim Dong-won (far left) and Lippo Group CEO John Riady. (Hanwha Life)

Hanwha Life, a major insurer under the Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group, is set to expand its presence in Southeast Asia, having secured a stake in Indonesia's Nobu Bank, according to the insurer on Monday.

Hanwha Life acquired a 40 percent stake in Nobu Bank through a deal signed with Indonesia’s Lippo Group, a major conglomerate with businesses spanning Southeast Asia.

The deal signing event was held in Jakarta on Friday, with Hanwha Life Vice Chair and CEO Yeo Seung-joo, its President and Chief Global Officer Kim Dong-won, Lippo Group CEO John Riady and MPC CEO Adrian Sherman in attendance.

Nobu Bank is one of Indonesia's top 30 commercial banks, with assets totaling 2.3 trillion won ($1.7 billion) as of last year.

It is the first time that a Korean insurer has ventured into the banking business overseas. Earlier this year, the Financial Services Commission allowed local insurers to own stakes in foreign banks through a revision to the enforcement decree.

With the share investment, Hanwha Life pledged to bolster global expansion to strengthen its presence in Indonesia, a country with a population of 270 million, the fourth largest in the world. The country has been recording over 5 percent growth in gross domestic product nearly every year.

"With the SPA deal on Nobu Bank with Lippo Group, Hanwha Life will become more than a top insurer from Korea, taking a leap as a global total finance group, along with Hanwha Group’s finance affiliation,” Hanwha Life Vice Chairman and CEO Yeo said.

“In partnership with Lippo Group, we will maximize the synergy by grafting our digital capability with Lippo Group’s experience in bank management,” Yeo said.

“I hope the synergy and cooperation between the two companies can continue, as the friendship and trust between President Kim Dong-won and me have continued,” Lippo Group CEO Riady said.

The firm said that the latest deal has to be approved by the supervising authorities in both Korea and Indonesia.

With the deal, Hanwha Group has expanded its business range in Indonesia, from insurance, securities and asset management to banking, Hanwha Life explained.