Quálitas eyes expansion to Costa Rica, Panama - Central America
Saturday, December 20 2008 @ 10:10 am EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
The Mexican insurer is currently piloting its business model in El Salvador, where it runs auto insurer Quálitas Compañías de Seguros. The latter is owned 50:50 by Quálitas and Scotiabank Insurance Barbados, with Quálitas responsible for managing the operation.
The move into El Salvador is seen as a strategic step for gaining expertise in international expansion, said Quálitas investor relations officer Luisa Salgado, who admitted the small size of the El Salvadorian insurance market limits growth opportunities.
El Salvador's insurance industry reported US$42.2mn in auto premiums for the January-September period. The figure is equivalent to around 7% of the US$640mn - or 6.92bn Mexican pesos - in written premiums recorded by Quálitas in the same stretch.
The entry into El Salvador took longer than expected for Quálitas, which requested an insurance license from El Salvador's financial sector regulator SSF in March 2007. The insurer was authorized to launch operations in November this year after the local regulator granted the license the previous month.
Hopefully, in the future the process of entering a new market takes less time, said Castillo.
Quálitas held 11.3bn pesos in assets and equity of 1.70bn pesos at September 30.