Life insurer expands its business in Zhenjiang, its fourth city in Jiangsu Province
Shanghai – The first foreign invested joint venture life insurance company in China - Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co., Ltd (MSL) - has received approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) to open a Sales Office in Zhenjiang in the Jiangsu Province. The announcement brings the total of Manulife-Sinochem’s city licenses in China to 20 – the largest number of any foreign joint venture operating in the PRC. The Company expects to commence business in Zhenjiang later in June 2007.
“Our business has achieved exceptional growth over the last eleven years, underpinned by the ongoing support of the Chinese government,” said Mr. Marc Sterling, Chairman, Manulife-Sinochem. “This announcement puts us in a unique position to provide products and services to customers in more Chinese cities than any other foreign JV life insurer. Today, we take a major stride forward towards securing a nationwide footprint in China.”
“Jiangsu Province has always been a prosperous province for insurance sales in China and with the development of its economy in recent years, this is an exciting time to be building our business in the local market.” Continued Mr. Sterling: “The establishment of our Zhenjiang Sales Office is an important move for us as we expand our business in Jiangsu Province and is a wonderful start to our second decade of operating 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 Zhenjiang.
Lying at the intersection of the Yangtze River and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, Zhenjiang is not only an ancient cultural centre with 3,000 years’ history but also a modern and developing city. In 2006, the GDP of Zhenjiang was RMB 102.5 billion and its GDP per capita exceeded USD 4,900, an economic environment that presents significant opportunities for a foreign invested life insurance company such as Manulife to thrive.
“Over the past few years, Manulife-Sinochem has experienced rapid growth in Jiangsu Province. Today, we have one branch and three Sales Offices in Jiangsu - in Nanjing, Wuxi, Changzhou and Zhenjiang,” said James Lin, President, Manulife-Sinochem. “Building on our past successes in the China market, we are looking forward to providing local citizens with the very best financial protection and wealth accumulation products and services.”
Fresh from making a special appearance at Manulife’s Olympic Baby Day Camp in Shanghai on June 2, Olympic Taekwondo gold medalist and Manulife-Sinochem’s Olympic ambassador, Luo Wei said: “I congratulate Manulife-Sinochem on this important milestone for the Company. Their mission to be the best at what they do is one with which many Olympic athletes identify. Today’s announcement is a tribute to the hard work and determination of the Manulife-Sinochem team and I wish them continued success in the future.”
Experiencing rapid geographical and product expansion
In November 2002, Manulife-Sinochem received the first Branch license granted to a foreign-invested joint venture insurance company. Under the lifted geographical restrictions for foreign insurers by the Government, as part of its commitment to the World Trade Organization, Manulife-Sinochem has since received many new licenses that are permitting the rapid expansion of its business.
In January 2005, CIRC granted Manulife-Sinochem license to significantly enhance its current product portfolio to include Group Life and Health and non-tax benefit Pension business, bringing its business scope in line with that of domestic insurers.
“We have already rolled out our Group Life and Health insurance to many provinces and once a number of pension regulations are in place, we will also use this opportunity to increase our presence in the China marketplace,” said Mr. Lin.
Today, Manulife-Sinochem’s 6,000-strong staff and agency force serve more than a quarter of a million customers across all cities where it operates.
Olympic sponsorship enhancing brand in competitive marketplace
“Proudly, Manulife-Sinochem is the Official Life Insurance Partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games,” said Mr. Lin. “This is a very exciting time for Beijing, for China, and for our Company – we are thrilled to be a part of this special event and the Olympic spirit that is driving the development of Beijing, ultimately showcasing it as the magnificent city it is, to the rest of the world.”
“Our corporate sponsorship dollars go toward supporting the dedicated individuals of China, who train long and hard to achieve the excellence that qualifies them for the world’s largest and most recognized sports competition. Similarly, we, too, strive to be the “best” in our industry,” said Mr. Lin.
“Manulife-Sinochem shares the Olympic attributes of top performance and striving to be the best,” added Mr. Lin. “As the exclusive Life Insurance Partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, we hope to communicate to our new stakeholders in Zhenjiang that we, too, stand for the excellence that has long been associated with the Olympic ideals.”
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 16 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$426 billion (approximately HK$2,889.4 billion) as at March 31, 2007. www.manulife.com.
- 30 -
For more information, please contact: