HSBC to assume full ownership of China insurance joint venture

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HSBC Insurance (Asia) Ltd has announced that it will acquire the remaining 50% of shares in HSBC Life China, its life insurance joint venture in China, from The National Trust Limited.

The move, according to HSBC’s statement, is in line with the removal of foreign ownership restrictions on life insurance companies in China, which took effect on January 01.

The transaction will be structured as a transfer of equity interest and is subject to regulatory approvals, including from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

HSBC Life China, which was formed in 2009, offers annuity, whole life, critical illness, and unit-linked insurance products. It is a 50:50 joint venture between HSBC and NT, and, as of December 2019, had a registered capital of RMB1.025 billion (US$145.13 million).

“Despite the current difficult environment engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to take steps to implement our growth strategy,” said Noel Quinn, HSBC Group chief executive. “This transaction supports our ambition to accelerate growth within our Asian franchise, particularly in the dynamic and fast-growing Greater Bay Area, where we fully intend to expand in all lines of business. It also allows us to further extend our capabilities in wealth, another area of strategic focus for the group.”

Headquartered in Shanghai, HSBC Life China operates in nine Chinese cities, namely: Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhuhai, and Shenzhen.

“Full ownership of HSBC Life China, combined with the HSBC Group’s international strengths and robust digital and wealth management capabilities, will enable us to significantly extend our reach and amplify the scope of our life insurance offerings to meet the burgeoning protection, health and wealth needs of our customers in the mainland,” added Bryce Johns, global chief executive of HSBC Life.

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