Sun Life forms venture with PVI to push into Vietnam

Thu May 31, 2012 8:10am EDT

May 31 (Reuters) - Sun Life Financial Inc said Thursday it would form a joint venture with Vietnam's PVI Holdings that will allow Sun Life to sell insurance products in the South Asian country.

Sun Life, Canada's No. 3 life insurer, said it will own 49 percent of the new entity, PVI Sun Life. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

"The company aims to become a market leader in the sector," Sun Life said in a statement. It expects the joint venture to commence operations before the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval.

PVI Holdings is a Hanoi-listed subsidiary of state oil and gas group Petrovietnam, and is the leading non-life insurer in Vietnam.

Toronto-based Sun Life is active in at least five Asian countries and has targeted growth in the region under new Chief Executive Dean Connor.