(Yicai Global) Nov. 18 -- Allianz China Life Insurance has become China’s first life insurer that has turned into a wholly foreign-owned firm from a joint venture.
ACLI has received regulatory approval to transform into China's second wholly foreign-owned life insurance company after AIA Life Insurance, the Shanghai-based firm said in a statement on its website yesterday.
The move signals increased overseas interest in the Chinese insurance market after the government lifted its foreign ownership restrictions on life insurance ventures in January 2020. Consequently, Allianz China Holding won the bid to buy a 49-percent stake in ACLI from Citic Trust late last year. The base price was CNY2.3 billion (USD367.8 million). Before that, it had 51 percent of the shares.
The Munich-headquartered financial giant has been boosting its investment in the world's second-largest economy. It set up Allianz China Holding, the Asian country’s first wholly foreign-owned insurance firm, in 2019. Moreover, last January, authorities approved Allianz to form China's first wholly foreign-owned insurance assets management firm.
The insurance behemoth has been ahead of the curve in many regards. When ACLI was formed in 1998, it was the first life insurance JV in the Chinese mainland, partly owned by a European firm.
Before ACLI, China gave the green light to Hong Kong-headquartered AIA Group to start China's first wholly foreign-owned life insurance business in August 2020. AIA Life Insurance is a result of restructuring involving AIA Group's Shanghai arm, giving it a separate legal entity status.
Editor: Dou Shicong, Emmi Laine, Xiao Yi