Many insurance companies have announced they will resume plans to debut shares on the stock exchange this year, including two that are scheduled to list next month.

Post and Telecommunication Joint Stock Insurance Corporation (PTI) will debut 45 million shares on the Hanoi Stock Exchange on March 2 after more than three consecutive months of market watchdog approval. The listing will make it the sixth insurance company to list on Vietnam 's stock markets.

The company posted a net profit of nearly 20 billion VND (952,400 USD) in 2010, a year-on-year increase of 76 percent, and it has set a target of 121 billion VND (5.8 million USD) in net profit this year along with a 15 percent dividend pay out.

BIDV Insurance Company (BIC), which targets total revenue of 1 trillion VND (47.6 million USD) this year and a 10- percent dividend pay out, said the Vietnam Securities Depository had reserved the code BIC for the company while it completed procedures to list shares on the HCM Stock Exchange by the end of March.

Petrolimex Joint Stock Insurance Company, which has delayed its plan to list for 10 years, recently announced it would list shares this year and has filed listing documents with the HCM City Exchange.

Other insurance companies such as Nha Rong (Bao Long), Vien Dong and AAA have also demonstrated intent to debut shares.

Most insurance companies currently operate in the non-life sector and over 58 percent of them have domestic investors as founding shareholders.

To date, four insurance companies have listed shares on the two national bourses, including Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), Bao Minh (BMI), PetroVietnam Insurance (PVI) and Vietnam National Reinsurance (VNR). One company - Agriculture Bank Insurance (ABI) - is listed on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM).

However, with the exception of BVH which has heavy foreign investment, the insurance companies typically decline following the general downward trend of the market despite posting positive business results.

Last year, according to statistics from the Saigon Securities Inc (SSI), insurance shares were ahead of other industries in terms of growth at 56 percent, while the VN-Index fell about 6 percent overall.

SSI analyst Nguyen Thi Thuy Giang said the non-life insurance industry this year is expected to grow 20-25 percent. /.