German insurance group Allianz has received the approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) to create China’s first fully foreign-owned insurance holding company.
The approval follows a series of measures recently announced by the Chinese government to further open up and encourage investment in China by foreign financial insurance institutions. It is a great step towards the liberalization of the Chinese financial market.
Based in Shanghai, the Allianz (China) Insurance Holding Company Limited “will support the growth ambitions in the country by enhancing Allianz’s strategic and financial flexibility to capture business opportunities, further increase Allianz’s investment and drive long-term success in the market,” the underwriter said in a statement.
Allianz has named, Sergio Balbinot as Chairman, Allianz (China) Insurance Holding Company Limited and Solmaz Altin as Chief Executive Officer of the Allianz (China) Insurance Holding Company Limited.
Mr Balbinot, said, “We sincerely thank the China Bank and Insurance Regulatory Commission for their constructive guidance and support during the preparation period. Allianz is extremely optimistic on China and we are committed to accelerating our growth plans in this strategic market. The regulatory approval for the holding company is an important landmark for our business and puts us in priority position to maximize on the opening up of the Chinese economy.”
Allianz has been present in China since the early 1910s, serving customers with fire and marine insurance in its coastal cities. Today, Allianz employs more than 2,000 employees in the country, offering a full suite of services across protection, risk management and asset management.
The approved license follows preparatory work undertaken by Allianz to meet all regulatory requirements to establish the holding company, with the strong support and guidance of the regulatory authorities throughout.
Mr Altin, added: “China is a strategically important market for Allianz in the region and today’s announcement underlines that commitment. With the new holding structure in place, we are able to better serve an expanding middle class with our range of financial solutions. Allianz aims to play a larger role in China’s insurance sector and grow with the market. We will continue to work under the guidance of the regulator to deepen our participation in a more open financial market to support the country’s economic growth.”