3 Key Investing Differences Between Singapore And Malaysia’s Insurance Giants

Insurance is one of the oldest businesses known to man. It’s thus perhaps no surprise to find that insurance companies are amongst the list of companies in Singapore that have the longest histories.

One insurer in Singapore’s stock market is Great Eastern Holding Limited (SGX: G07). It is one of the largest insurers in the region and has a history of more than 100 years. Great Eastern is not just a big life insurance services provider in Singapore – it also counts Malaysia as one of its largest markets. This might raise the question amongst investors: How does Great Eastern compare to some of its Malaysian counterparts as a business?

Listed in Malaysia, Allianz Malaysia Berhad (KLSE:1163.KL) is one of the largest insurers in the country. The company is a listed subsidiary of Allianz SE, a global insurer based in Germany with a market capitalization of €65 billion; Allianz SE has a 68% stake in Allianz Malaysia.

Here are three important differences between Allianz Malaysia and Great Eastern that investors may want to know.


Although Allianz Malaysia is part of a huge global insurance group, its size is still smaller when compared to Great Eastern. Allianz Malaysia has a market capitalization of RM1.7 billion (S$570 million) and earned revenue of RM4.0 billion in 2015. Great Eastern Holding, on the other hand, has a market capitalization of S$10.1 billion and generated S$10.1 billion in revenue last year.


Despite being a big insurer, size has not made Great Eastern lose efficiency. Its return on equity in 2015 was 13.0%, comparable to Allianz Malaysia’s ROE of 12.6%.

That said, Great Eastern had to employ higher leverage in order to achieve that result. Its total liabilities to total assets stood at 90.7%, compared to just 80.8% for Allianz Malaysia.


Great Eastern is also more highly valued compared to Allianz Malaysia. At the moment, Great Eastern is trading at 1.7 times its tangible book value. Allianz Malaysia, on the other hand, is only trading at 0.8 times its tangible book value.

Interestingly, Allianz Malaysia is not as generous when it comes to paying a dividend. Its shares only offer a dividend yield of just 0.6% while Great Eastern has a dividend yield of 2.6%.

Foolish Summary

There are many other insurers listed on both the exchanges of Singapore and Malaysia. A comparison between Great Eastern and Allianz Malaysia have showed us how different two companies can look even if they are in similar businesses and operate in similar markets.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore writer Stanley Lim doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.