According to TBKTVN, as cited by Thanh Nien, US insurer American International Assurance has received approval from Vietnam's Ministry of Finance to increase its chartered capital to VND600 billion, with a view to further expansion in the country.

The publication revealed American International Assurance Incorporated (AIA) Vietnam general director Kenneth Juneau as saying that, through the $37 million registered capital increase, the firm was seeking to adhere to both ministry regulations and develop operations.

Citing the Vietnam Insurance Association (VIA) as a source, TBKTVN reported that the domestic life insurance industry is expected to thrive in the second half of 2007. The insurance association is also anticipating a sharp rise in premiums at the end of the year.

AIA has recognized Vietnam as a largely untapped market, offering a wealth of opportunities for insurers, with 95% of the country’s 84 million people uninsured, according to TBKTVN/Thanh Nien.

AIA is part of US insurance giant American International Group, which held $638 billion in total assets in 2006, the publication reported. It serves the country through four banks – Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, the Vietnam International Bank, Southern Bank and HSBC.