(Yicai Global) Nov. 15 -- Allianz (China) Insurance Holding has received approval to operate from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
It has thereby become the first wholly foreign-owned insurance holding company allowed to operate in China. Sergio Balbinot will step in as Allianz China's chair, while Solmaz Altin will be the wholly-owned unit's general manager.
CBIRC approved of the conglomerate's plan to set up Allianz China in November last year as China further opened its financial sector and the unit was thus also the first foreign-owned insurance holding company to receive approval for setup in the country.
"Allianz is extremely optimistic on China and we are committed to accelerating our growth plans in this strategic market," said Balbinot, adding, "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."
Balbinot currently sits on Munich, Germany-based Allianz's board and is in charge of its insurance businesses in western and southern Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, while Altin serves as the Regional chief executive for Asia-Pacific at the German insurance giant.
Allianz, one of the world's leading financial services groups, offers insurance and asset management services worldwide. It has 147,000 staffers and 85 million-plus clients in more than 70 countries and regions.
It provides life, non-life and credit insurance and fund management and other financial businesses in China. Its local subsidiaries are Allianz China Life Insurance, which focuses on life and health insurance, Allianz China General Insurance, which is dedicated to property and liability insurance, asset management firm CPIC Fund Management, CPIC Allianz Health Insurance, which specializes in health insurance, and Allianz Global Assistance, which provides travelers with insurance and help in need.
Editor: Ben Armour