UK general insurer Aviva is set to enter the Malaysian long-term savings market through a joint venture with CIMB Group.

Under the terms of the agreement, Aviva will acquire a 49% equity interest in two of CIMB Group’s subsidiaries, Commerce Life Assurance (Commerce Life) and Commerce Takaful (Commerce Takaful), for GBP74 million. The terms of the joint venture agreement have been approved by Bank Negara, Malaysia’s financial services regulator.

Furthermore, Commerce Life and Commerce Takaful will enter into exclusive bancassurance agreements with CIMB Group’s subsidiary, CIMB Bank, for the distribution of life and takaful insurance products through the bank’s 383 branches. In addition to offering products through CIMB Bank, both companies will also explore other distribution channels in Malaysia.

Philip Scott, executive director of Aviva, said: We’re excited about our entry into the Malaysian market, which is the eighth largest insurance market in Asia. The high savings rate in Malaysia – 37% of gross national product – combined with the life market’s growth prospects make this a significant move in the expansion of our Asia Pacific portfolio.