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Alibaba bullish on insurance market

BritCham / CBBC
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Asia Insurance Review, 23/01/15

China's Alibaba Group Holding, the world's biggest e-commerce company, is planning to buy shares in the state-run New China Life Insurance, reported Reuters.
 
Central Huijin Investment, the investment arm of the Chinese government and the largest shareholder in the insurer, plans to sell some of its stake to Alibaba. It did not give any details on the size of the deal. Central Huijin currently owns 31.34% of the insurer.
 
New China Life Insurance has a market capitalisation of US$24 billion and provides life insurance services and products.
 
Alibaba is already invested in China's insurance market. The founders of Alibaba and Tencent Holdings were among a consortium of investors who purchased stakes in Ping An Insurance Group Co of China in a HK$36.5 billion (US$4.7 billion) deal in December.
 
China’s insurance industry has a bullish outlook. The central government is promoting insurance heavily. Last August, the State Council which is the Chinese cabinet set out several important initiatives to be implemented by 2020, to accelerate the development of modern insurance services in China. Some specific policy targets include increasing the penetration rate of insurance services to 5% by 2020, up from 3% in 2014. The goals also include raising per capita spending on insurance from CNY1,300 (US$209) in 2013 to CNY3,500 by 2020. The government wants insurers to play a greater role by supplying corporate pensions and health insurance, establishing a catastrophe insurance system; and improving agriculture and infrastructure.

 

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