Weifang– Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (MSL), a subsidiary of Canada-based Manulife Financial and the Official Life Insurance Partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, has received approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) Shandong Bureau to open a Sales Office in Weifang. This means that MSL will now be operational in two cities in Shandong Province and in a total of 22 cities in China.
Under the new license, Manulife-Sinochem will be able to offer a wide range of financial and medical products, including Group Life and Health products and non-tax benefit pensions, to companies, families and individuals in Weifang.
Earlier this year, Manulife-Sinochem opened a new branch office in Shandong Province, the fifth largest insurance market in China. Now, just three months later, Manulife-Sinochem has been granted approval from the CIRC to increase its presence in Shangdong Province with a new license for Weifang. Thanks to the support of government supervisors, the expansion of MSL’s business in China continues apace.
“Since China’s accession to the WTO, we have accelerated the speed at which we develop our operations. After establishing a solid presence in the eastern coastal area, we have also entered western China and recently expanded to the Bohaiwan area,” said Mr. Marc Sterling, Chairman of Manulife-Sinochem. “ Weifang has a population of more than 8.6 million and has experienced steady economic growth; however, it still has a low life insurance penetration. This offers foreign insurers such as Manulife-Sinochem great opportunities to tap into this market and provide world-class products for local customers.”
Weifang, in the middle of Shandong Peninsula, is a region abundant in natural resources and is a transportation hub. In 2006, the GDP of Weifang was RMB172.09 billion and the average personal income was RMB11,846. In the whole year, Weifang’s total insurance premiums were RMB2.17 billion1.
“Weifang has been nominated as one of the 2006 Chinese Characteristic Cities and we are proud to contribute to the development of its economy by opening our new sales office there.” commented Mr. James Lin, President of Manulife-Sinochem. “With our commitment to professionalism and integrity, we are looking to forward to providing excellent customer service to local people.”
Training hard for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Olympic Taekwondo gold medalist and Manulife-Sinochem’s Olympic ambassador, Luo Wei said: “As an Olympic sponsor, Manulife-Sinochem has given great support to Chinese athletes like me and has really helped to bring the Olympic spirit to people throughout China. Their mission to be the best at what they do is one with which many Olympic athletes identify and I congratulate them on today’s announcement, the latest in a long line of achievements for their business so far in China.”
Manulife-Sinochem is a joint venture company between Manulife (International) Limited (51 per cent) and China Foreign Economic and Trade Trust & Investment Company, a member of the Sinochem group (49 per cent).
China Foreign Economic and Trade Trust & Investment Company (FOTIC) is a core enterprise of Sinochem. Sinochem, founded in 1950, is one of the biggest foreign trading companies in China. Since 1989, Sinochem has topped the list of the country’s 500 leading foreign trading companies and has also been recognized as a Fortune 500 company for 17 consecutive years. Sinochem can be found on the Internet at www.sinochem.com.
About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$410 billion (approximately HK$3,016.4 billion) as at June 30, 2007.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.
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Notes to editors:
1Source: www.weifang.gov.cn/WFZW/RDZT/ZFGZBG/t20070305_121992.htm http://www.wfnet.cn/wftoday.asp
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