Choi Young-moo, chief executive officer of Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co., bought back 500 shares of the company and its senior executives plan to follow suit to defend the sagging stock price and strengthen responsible management.
The company announced Sunday that Choi bought back 500 treasury shares and its chief financial officer Bae Tae-young 200 shares at 209,000 won ($175.76) apiece on Friday. Other executives are expected to participate in the buyback to boost the value of the stock that plunged 30 percent over the past year.
Shares of Samsung Fire rose 0.24 percent to close Monday at 212,500 won.
The country’s non-life insurers suffered from poor earnings last year mainly due to a surge in loss ratio, the ratio of insurance claims to premiums earned. Many of them sold bonds to offset the falling profits, but Samsung Fire minimized debt sales in defense of future profits.
Instead, Choi has been working hard to increase corporate value in the long-term through strategic investments and development of new technology. The company has teamed up with the nation’s top mobile messenger app operator Kakao Corp. to launch a new digital insurer that will provide customized insurance plan based on big data analysis to help customers conveniently buy or renew insurance policies on a mobile basis. They will file a preliminary application with the Financial Services Commission next month.
As part of an effort to beef up technology, Samsung Fire established a 40 billion won worth corporate venture capital (CVC) fund in December 2018 to invest in new technology development and insure-tech startups for four years.
By Lee Seung-hoon and Choi Mira
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