(Yicai Global) Jan. 10 -- AIA Group, the largest listed pan-Asia life insurer, seeks to give its Shanghai life insurance unit a separate legal entity status to expand its mainland business scope amid loosening ownership restrictions.
AIA aims to rebrand the unit as AIA Life Insurance while turning CNY3.8 billion (USD546.6 million) of its operating capital into registered capital, the Hong Kong-headquartered parent said in a statement yesterday. It will still need approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission.
On Jan. 1, China fulfilled its promise to lift the foreign ownership limit of life insurers, which is another step of opening up its financial sector.
So far AIA has set up branches in large cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Beijing but the lack of independent legal entity status limits these units' expansion capabilities.
AIA's Shanghai branch, set up in 1992, is the mainland's first offshore-owned life insurance company.
AIA's share price [HKG: 1299] was 0.12 percent down at HKD85.50 (USD11) this morning.
Editor: Emmi Laine